The Haiti earthquake occurred in a seismically active region on January 12, 2010. Haiti and the Dominican Republic were both hit by the earthquake. People had cut many of the trees in Haiti for firewood to when they cooked. The bare hills increased the impact of the earthquake and the human suffering in the country.
2010 Earthquake on Hispaniola Island, USGS
Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola. The Caribbean Plate is slipping eastward in relation to the North American Plate. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake occurred where the plates had been locked for 250 years prior to the rocks rupturing. The part of the fault line that broke was 40 miles long and slipped about six feet.
Epicenter of the earthquake
The earthquake epicenter was sixteen miles west of Haiti's capital city Port-au-Prince. Three million people were affected by the earthquake. It is estimated that 230,000 people died, 300,000 people were injured and 1,000,000 people were made homeless by the earthquake. Today humanitarian aid from countries around the world continues to help the people of Haiti rebuild their lives.
Scientists are concerned that a repeat of the 1751 earthquakes might occur. The earthquakes were a sequence of quakes starting in the Dominican Republic that progressed westward along the fault plane. Residents in the area are hoping this will not occur. They hope that enough stress in the rocks has been released than another devastating earthquake will not occur in the near future.
P waves Find out more about P Waves that are produced by large and small earthquakes.
Love Waves Find out more about Love waves that can topple tall buildings during large earthquakes!
The Mercalli Scale Did you know there can be twelve different intensities of an earthquake but only one magnitude? Find out why!
Normal Fault Find out why miners often find valuable ore in sites where normal faults have occurred.
Megathrust Earthquake Find out why megathrust earthquakes will occur off the coasts of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California in the future.
Haiti Earthquake The devastating Haiti earthquake occurred in a region prone to large earthquakes. Find out why these large earthquakes occur.
What Causes Earthquakes. Find out what causes earthquakes and other fascinating facts about when our planet shakes, rattles, and rolls.
Kids Fun Science The links on our home page include information about volcanoes, science activities, plate tectonics, the rock cycle and much more.