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Haiti earthquake - Essay Example

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Yvener Lisca Mr.Marlowe Earth science 11/11/2013 Haiti Earthquake The Earthquake An earthquake is a tremor that happens as result of sudden energy release that creates seismic waves in the earth’s crust. They occur anywhere in the world as long as there is enough elastic strain energy stored to drive fracture along fault planes…
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Download file to see previous pages This causes earthquake. Three types of faults cause earthquakes: strike-strip, normal and reverse faults. They are measured using the seismometers. The most common scales are the magnitude moments and the richer sale. These two scales are similar numerically over their range in validity. The earthquakes with magnitude less than three are weak and causes less damage while those with magnitude of seven and above are strong. Depending on their depth, they potentially cause damage to large areas (Martin 188). The damage, which is caused by the earthquake, depends majorly on the topography of the region and the quality of the infrastructure. There is no limit for the possible magnitude of the quake. Since 1770, the strongest earthquake to occur was in Haiti. Haiti is in the island of Hispaniola. Haiti means the land of high mountains. Haiti has a total area of approximately 27,750 square kilometers. Its capital is port-au-prince. Haiti was the first nation in the Latin America to attain independence. The independence was gained because of successful rebellion against rebellion. A severe earthquake struck the country in 12 December 2010 at 4:53 pm. The magnitude of the quake was 7.0 and its epicenter hit about 10 miles to the west of the Porte-au-prince, which is the capital city of Haiti. The inhabitants are poor and the earthquake affected its two million inhabitants, which is about 2% of the total population. This led to a humanitarian crisis that is still being responded to desperately by the world. The major concern is helping the people of Haiti who still have unanswered questions about the quake itself. Why it was not predicted, why it was that strong, and why it caused a lot of destruction. Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic are on the Caribbean. Active tectonic plates border the Caribbean so that the whole region is prone to earthquake. The part of the plate that ruptured goes through Haiti and continues to the offshore and to Jamaica. This was the fault of enriquillo plantain garden (Xingjian 92). It is one of the fault structures that have been separating Cuba in North America from Haiti in the Caribbean plate, for more that million years ago. The plate is relatively small and the larger plates surround it. One of the plates is the North America plate that is constantly exerting pressure. The opposing forces resulting to formation of volcano and earthquakes create great action of seismic waves. The Caribbean plate moves approximately 21 millimeters towards the east in relation to that of the North American plate. Enriquillio fault takes about seven millimeters of these. In 1751, the last major earthquake in the port-au-prince region occurred. This is important because in case that fault was locked or stuck for the past 260 years that could give the reason for the slip deficit in the segment of about two meters. If a plate is moving a distance not less than 21 mm, the plate does not move as a whole at one time, some part remains in position. So if there had been no activity for the past 250 years, then there is a high amount of strain and approximately about one to two meters of this movement missing (Maurine 120). If the pressure builds over a long time, the greater magnitude of Earthquake happens. This explains why the Haiti quake was seven. The destruction was massive majorly because the earthquake was shallow and just below port au prince. It ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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