Haiti Earthquake
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Haiti Earthquake


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Old 02-17-2010, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default Haiti Earthquake

Hey guys,

As most of you are aware I'm leaving on Friday for a quick trip to Haiti on a deployment in support of DOD. I'm only going to be there for a week but from my briefings it's not going to be pleasant even for such a short time. Well, I started to do some research into Haiti as I really did not know much about it except it was a major corridor for drug smuggling. Come to find out that Haiti is not only an island but its part of a two country island. Did you know that the Dominican Republic was the other half of Haiti? I didnít. My question is if Haiti was so devastated by the earthquake wouldnít the Dominican Republic be hit just as hard? How come we havenít heard anything about any damage or death in the Dominican Republic? The island is just over 75,800 sq km and not much bigger than half the size of Cuba. Anyone have any idea about this?


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Old 02-17-2010, 05:53 PM   #2
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Damage from an earthquake is reduced quickly as you move away from the epicenter. Having lived through the Northridge quake here in CA I know that just twenty miles away there was only slight damage, as opposed to the collapse of buildings near my house.


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Old 02-17-2010, 05:59 PM   #3
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Haiti and DR were settled and occupied by different countries. Spain took some pride and built infastructure and stone buildings. France did nothing to make Haiti anything but their area to pillage the resources. Haiti's government has taken money from the US annually for years and never built any infastructure and allowed it's citizens to live in squalor and shanty towns. Much easier to knock down a rotten plywood building than a stone one.

Oh, yea, there is the epicenter thing....
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:05 PM   #4
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I did not know about the epicenter thing and did not realize the distance out could be so small. Iíve never lived anywhere they had earthquakes and have to admit Iím a bit ignorant about them.
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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I was 100 miles (roughly) away from this 7.9 earthquake in Alaska.
M 7.9 Denali fault earthquake of November 3, 2002

Buildings rocked, cars shook but no collapses on the base. Sure our buildings are built to a higher standard but it dissipates so quickly. I think even in Haiti the reason it was so severe was that the epicenter was so close to the most populous city in the country.
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:48 PM   #6
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I grew up in CA and the The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 made the ceiling fans rock a little but nothing much after that. I was about 169 miles from the quake.

I slept through a 6.0 one at Fort Irwin CA once. It was 50 miles away and all it did was shake the steel covers we were sleeping under.

Remember too there are two different types of quakes. S waves move along the ground like a sidewinder and P waves make the round roll up and down. P wave earth quakes are more destructive than S wave. When you get all the buckling of road ways and portions where the road is 20' higher on one side than the other that is a P wave quake. When you get a road that is moved side ways that is an S wave quake.

Building codes and proper building techniques learned by CA and Japan could have saved much of the damage on Haiti.

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Old 02-17-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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Wasn't this quake described as a "shallow" quake as well, meaning that its forces were even more localized than normal? I know the big threat with the New Madrid faults near Memphis, TN is that they are really deep & the shockwaves will travel far from the epicenter (may be the dumbed-down version i was told).

Regarding the island being composed of two different countries on two different halves of the island, try looking at some google earth-type pics; IIRC, the Haitian side has been almost completely deforested for charcoal while the Dominican side is lush & green.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV/AIDS_in_Haiti You might wanna keep this in mind in case of any contact with bodily fluids & such. (pack a shatload of gloves!)


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