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Earthquakes

Introduction

Earthquakes entail the sudden release of energy from the earth’s crust. The seismic waves enhance the occurrence of the quake and causes damage owing to different magnitudes of occurrence. The extents of the earthquakes are measured using the Ritcher scale.  The manifestation of the earthquakes occurs through shaking hence causing displacements on the ground. In many occasions, earthquakes trigger landslides, together with the volcanic activities. This essay will highlight on several factors pertaining the Haiti earthquake, which led to the loss of scores of lives and property worth billions of dollars. The first part of the essay will highlight on the major causes that led to the occurrence of the earthquake in Haiti in a larger magnitude. Secondly, the effects of the earthquakes to Haiti citizens and the entire country as a whole will be discussed in the essay. Finally, conclusion is highlighted with the statement of the facts and the necessary measures that may be taken to avert the dangers associated with the occurrence of such disasters.

Causes of Haiti quake

Devastating earthquake hit Haiti resulting into the loss of many lives. The occurrence of the earthquake le to the destruction of property worth billions of shillings, the forces that generate earthquakes triggered the occurrence of the earthquake in Haiti. The scientists claim that the same mechanism that shakes the cities along California San Andreas fault triggered the occurrence of the deadly earthquake in Haiti. It was established that the magnitude of the earthquake in Haiti was 7.0. It is for this reason that the earthquake caused a potential destructive impact on Haiti and its citizens.  The weak in infrastructure of the nation enhanced the occurrence of the earthquake.

The sliding plates

The Haiti earthquake occurred because of the sliding plates. The relative motion of the plates  towards one another referred to as the jig-saw puzzle at a relatively slow pace in the east-west direction triggered the occurrence of the devastating earthquake. The scientists established that the strike-slip boundary led to the development of stress in along the faults of the boundary.  It is apparent that the parts of the crust stuck but the release of the stress was sudden and the strong motion hence the separation of the two sides causing the earthquake. The geologists established that the rupture that caused the quake in Haiti is referred to as Enriquillo-plantain garden fault system (Mousavi, Bagchi and Kodur 692). It is because of the highest degree of the magnitude of the quake that the extent of the damage was enormous.

Intensity and infrastructure

The intensity of the earthquake that hit Haiti is also contributed to the wider magnitude of the damage. The intensity of the earthquake dictates the extent to which the quake was felt.  It is also apparent that the main factor influencing the earthquake intensity is the distance of the epicenter of the human beings and other elements that are bound to feel the earthquake. It has been established that, the epicenter of the Haiti quake was 10 miles south-west of the capital port-au-prince and 6.2 km below the surface of the earth.

The geologists established that the energy released upon the occurrence of the quake was close to the surface hence the high damage caused. Unlike the quakes that occurred in other regions such as the south pacific and Fiji islands that originated hundreds of miles down the earth’s surface, the Haiti quake was shallow (Ambraseys 1009). It has been noted that the earthquakes are much deeper in the south pacific thus causing little harm. It is for this reason that instead of two plates sliding past one another, one descends deep down into the earth below that her, thus, forcing the earthquake to originate much farther down the earth’s surface.

The intensity equation o Haiti was also enhanced by the poor infrastructure of the country. The low construction standards of the buildings of Haiti lead to much destruction of property and the loss of scores of people through fatal injuries and instant deaths. It is obvious that, Haiti is a poor country characterized by the lax building standards and high population density. The poor designs and the building standards made the buildings culpable to collapsing upon the occurrence of even the slightest tremor. Disaster preparedness averts the loss of many people through deaths upon the occurrence of such disasters. However, a significant number of Haitians lacked basic education and were coupled with poor public communications hence difficulty in escaping such disasters.

Effects of earthquake in Haiti

The occurrence of the earthquake in Haiti caused a major setback to the Haiti government and its people. The set back was suffered in varied perspectives. First, occurrence of the quake led to the loss of thousands of people through death. This is because upon the occurrence of the quake triggered landslides that led to the collapsing of the buildings. This caused numerous deaths in of the people and livestock. The occurrence of the landslides led to the collapse of large buildings that served as residential and business property premises of Haiti government and its people. Therefore, this means the property loss is an impetus to the economic hard times in Haiti.

It is as a result of this that insufficient food was realized in Haiti and thus the aid from the international communities and humanitarian organizations across the globe. Among the buildings that were destroyed by the earthquake in Haiti’s capital port-au- prince is the presidential palace, United Nations buildings, the schools, and other government offices. This brought the economic developments of Haiti to a standstill. Because of the destruction of buildings and the poor rescue operations, tens of thousands of lives were lost. Thousands of people were buried alive by the landslides.  The deaths led to the loss of intellectual property and thus the people treating the rescued were outsourced by the international humanitarian organizations.

Since the occurrence of the earthquakes took place in the year 2010, the country is vulnerable to the occurrence of disaster related activities such as floods and droughts. The volcanic eruptions are also rampant owing to the weak soil compactness. In an attempt to come up with better solutions that protect its citizens in future, government of Hit has resorted to imposing the high insurance premium rates (Demirkaya 250). The reduction of the Haiti population including the loss of the intellectual property through deaths has left the leadership of the country at stake since the country has to outsource most of professionals in various fields’ hence heavy taxation on its citizens. The seismic waves that trigger the occurrence of the earthquake cause soil liquefaction. This forms the basis for the weakness of the soil particles hence putting the bridges and other buildings at the helm of tilting and even collapsing. Haitians therefore, live under the fear of death.

Conclusion

With regard to the occurrence of the earthquake in Haiti, it is evident that earthquakes pose more dangers to the people and their property. Education and disaster preparedness is therefore inevitable and should be done by the government authorities in order to equip people with life saving skills in case of the rupture of such disasters.  It is apparent that earthquakes destroy not only the living things but also other basic things such as buildings and other property. It is important to note that the fertility of the lands are destroying by the earthquakes and thus may expose people to hunger due to lack of sufficient food.  The international humanitarian organizations and the government authorities should capacity build its people on the importance of engaging in other economic activities other than farming to afford their basic needs.

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