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Earthquake in Haiti

January 13, 2010

Edit 01/23/2010 – I’ve added a new post with expanded information on the science of the Haiti earthquake.

This morning we are hearing news reports from the aftermath of a destructive earthquake that hit the island nation of Haiti yesterday. The earthquake was centered approximately 10 miles southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and measured a magnitude 7.0 on the Richter scale (information from the USGS).

The earthquake triggered NOAA to issue a local tsunami watch which has since been canceled for Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Bahamas. Aftershocks are still being felt in the region and will likely continue for the next few days. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a map monitoring real-time earthquake activity worldwide. The USGS site also offers tons of great, easy-to-understand information on earthquakes in general: what causes them, how scientists measure and monitor them, and how people can prepare. If you want to learn more about earthquakes, start there.

This earthquake is devastating for the people of Haiti for many reasons, most of which are connected to the nation’s terrible infrastructure. In fact, they are still recovering from a series of four hurricanes (Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike) that hit the island in 2008. For more information on these hurricanes, visit the National Hurricane Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Also, if you are so inclined, here is a list (put out by MSNBC) of aid agencies/charity organizations working in the region.

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