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Transcript of Earthquakes!
Haiti What is an Earthquake ? Defined as : Natural shaking or vibrating of Earth in response to the breaking of rocks along faults. The earthquake zones of earth generally are correlated with lithospehric plate boundaries. The earth is divided into three main layers - a hard outer crust, a soft middle layer and a center core. The outer crust is broken into massive pieces called plates. These plates move very slowly, driven by energy forces deep within the earth. Earthquakes occur when these moving plates grind and scrape against each other. When there are sudden movements in the various layers of the earth, crust or mantle, concentric waves are produced. These waves are known as seismic waves and are of three types; Primary Waves (P-Waves), Secondary Waves (S-Waves) and Surface Waves (L-Waves). The point of origin of the earthquake is inside the earth and is known as the hypocenter. Maximum destruction is caused at the epicenter, which is the surface above the hypocenter. Earthquakes usually have foreshocks and aftershocks. The main earthquake or the one with the maximum magnitude is known as the main shock. Its intensity is calculated by the magnitude of seismic waves, measured with the help of a seismograph. The measurement is taken on the Richter scale. I don’t want to bore you with information you already know so lets talk about one particular earthquake! The earthquake’s epicenter—the point on the Earth’s surface directly above where it happened—was about 10 miles from Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Experts say it was the worst earthquake in the region in more than 200 years. The quake struck on January 12, 2010 at 4:53 p.m. The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale, which is very high. More than 30 aftershocks, or smaller earthquakes, came after the big quake. The earthquake occurred at a fault that runs right through Haiti and is situated along the boundary between the Caribbean and North American plates. These two plates constantly crept past one another, about 0.8 inches a year, with the Caribbean plate moving eastward with respect to the North American slab. The Caribbean isn't exactly a hot zone for earthquakes, but they're not unheard of in the region. This earthquake was one of the largest ever to hit the area ; the last time an earthquake this strong struck Haiti was in the 18th century. According to official estimates, 316,000 people killed, 300,000 injured, 1.3 million displaced, 97,294 houses destroyed and 188,383 damaged in the Port-au-Prince area and in much of southern Haiti. Wclef Jean massively helped with his already existing Yéle Haiti organization. Many people offered help after this devastating catastrophe, including celebrities! Many celebrities such as: Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Leonardo DeCaprio, Lady Gaga, and Tiger woods just to name a few. Hope here is measured in bags of cement. Progress is a city park without a tent. The future is a bus that takes children to school without charge. Its destination, etched above the driver’s window, reads: “Dignity.” -Kourtney Peters