Essay on A Comparison and Contrast of Earthquake in Haiti and Chile in 2010

Essay on A Comparison and Contrast of Earthquake in Haiti and Chile in 2010

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There are about 15 tectonic or lithospheric plates on the earth’s surface, which have different size and move relative to one another over the earth’s surface. As a result, the crust around the boundaries of the plates bends or deforms, accumulating strong energy during these processes (Briggs, 2006). When the strain becomes too great to bear by the crust in the future, the crust will snap or slip causing earthquakes. As a type of geophysical hazard, earthquakes are inevitable for mankind living on the Earth, which destroy tremendous buildings, and take human life away. However, influences of earthquakes can be reduced if people take appropriate actions. This report provide an overview of two earthquakes that happened in Haiti and Chile in 2010, and compare and contrast these two earthquakes to see how the consequences of earthquakes can be reduced.
Introduction of The Chile Earthquake
The Chilean earthquake on 27 February 2010 occurred at 03:34:17 local time (UTC-3), with a magnitude of 8.5 Mw (United Nations, 2010). This earthquake occurred on the boundary of the Nazca and South American tectonic plates which are converging at a rate of 70 mm per year. The earthquake occurred as thrust-faulting on the interface between the two plates, with the Nazca plate moving down and landward below the South American plate (United Nations, 2010). The epicenter was located on the coast approximately 8 km west of the town of Curanipe and 115 km north-northeast of Chile’s second-largest city, Concepción (United Nations, 2010).
Introduction of The Haitian Earthquake
The Haitian earthquake on 12 January 2010 occurred at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC), with a magnitude of 7.0 Mw, and the epicenter is near the town of Leogane, appr...

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...d within the rupture zone of the 1835 event experienced by Charles Darwin.
However, the peak fault slip was to the north of the epicenter- not where was expected to
occur. Nature, 469(7337), 174.

Ros, A. (2010). Why Chile fared better than Haiti. Nature 464(7285), 15.

Sarkar, S., Choudhary, S., Sonakia, A., Vishwakarama, A,. & Gwal, A. K. (2012).
Ionospheric anomalies associated with the Haiti earthquake of 12 January 2010 observed
by DEMETER satellite. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 12, 671-678. doi:

United Nations. (2010). The Chile Earthquake of 27 February 2010: an overview. Santiago:
United Nations Publication.

Watts, A. Possible earthquake early warning signal discovered, Retrieved October 3, 2011, from

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