Switch to Desktop Site
 
 

Is Haiti on the brink of another earthquake?

Scientists have found that the devastating Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake has placed stresses on the fault system beneath the island nation, which could lead to another major quake.

Image

This Jan. 13 photo provided by The American Red Cross shows the flattened cathedral in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, the day after a devastating earthquake struck the country. Scientists have found that the quake has placed stresses on the fault system beneath the island nation, which could lead to another major quake

American Red Cross/AP

About these ads

The earthquake that devastated Haiti in January increased stresses on nearby faults, potentially increasing the likelihood of another major temblor in the islands, scientists have found.

Jian Lin, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, was studying a fault system on the island of Hispaniola (home to both Haiti in the west and the Dominican Republic in the east), when the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that destroyed much of Port-au-Prince struck on Jan. 12.

Lin and his colleagues, who had been measuring the stresses on fault systems in the area, were well aware of the potential for a major earthquake in Haiti.

IN PICTURES: Scenes from the Haiti earthquake

"For us, the risk of earthquakes in this region is not really a surprise," Lin said.

The fault system that runs through Hispaniola and other parts of the Caribbean is bounded by two tectonic plates (the Caribbean and North American plates), which slowly slide past one another as they move across the Earth's surface. But while the plates move, their touching boundaries can become stuck against one another, which builds up stress along the fault.

Next

Page:   1   |   2   |   3


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Share

Loading...