Massive Earthquake Hammers Haiti
Posted on Jan 12, 2010
A major magnitude 7.0 earthquake and two big aftershocks slammed Haiti on Tuesday, causing widespread damage in and around the Caribbean nation’s capital city of Port-au-Prince. As details emerged that evening about casualties and damages, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States called the quake “a catastrophe of major proportions.” —KA
The Wall Street Journal
An Associated Press videographer saw the collapsed wreckage of a hospital in Petionville, near Port-au-Prince. Reuters news agency cited a witness saying several buildings had crumbled in the capital and that there were dead and injured trapped in the rubble.
At least 1.8 million people live within the area where the earthquake had its highest intensity, John Bellini, a geophysicist at the USGS, told The Wall Street Journal. “With a strong and shallow earthquake like this in such a populated area, it could really cause substantial damage,” he said.
The quake was the most powerful to hit Haiti since at least 1770, according to USGS records, Mr. Bellini added. “This isn’t normally an earthquake-prone area,” he said.
Wikimedia Commons / Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center
Aerial view: This NASA image shows Port-au-Prince, Haiti, some 10 miles from the epicenter of Tuesday’s earthquake.