No one in Haiti saw it coming because quakes in the Caribbean are hard to predict since most of the tectonic plate is below sea level.
Geoscientist Michele Cooke says, "This earthquake [was] not unexpected, which increases the tragedy of our current situation. We can only access the active faults where they are exposed on the islands." This is in sharp contrast with the San Andreas Fault in California, where monitoring equipment is in place on both sides of the plate boundary along its entire length.
"Accurate assessment of earthquake probability requires a lot of data, which we just don't have at this time for the Caribbean," Cooke explains. "Of course the effective mitigation of earthquake hazards doesn't just depend on assessment of earthquake probability. Good building code and disaster plans are also needed by all communities living in areas of active faulting."
Televangelist Pat Robertson says the quake occurred because Haiti made a "pact with the devil" in order to gain liberation. If you want to find out what the Haitian religion is REALLY all about, click here. And to contribute to the Yele relief effort on the ground in Haiti, click here.
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