February 28, 2010

JEB'S FLORIDA VS. BLANCO'S LOUISIANA

Chile was ready for quake, Haiti wasn't (FRANK BAJAK, 2/27/10, Associated Press)

The earthquake in Chile was far stronger than the one that struck Haiti last month — yet the death toll in this Caribbean nation is magnitudes higher.

The reasons are simple.

Chile is wealthier and infinitely better prepared, with strict building codes, robust emergency response and a long history of handling seismic catastrophes. No living Haitian had experienced a quake at home when the Jan. 12 disaster crumbled their poorly constructed buildings.

And Chile was relatively lucky this time.

Saturday's quake was centered offshore an estimated 21 miles (34 kilometers) underground in a relatively unpopulated area while Haiti's tectonic mayhem struck closer to the surface — about 8 miles (13 kilometers) — and right on the edge of Port-au-Prince, factors that increased its destructiveness.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2010 7:06 AM
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