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Whats going on?

 
 
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 08:08 am
While I fully agree that the earthquake that rocked Haiti is bad, why is the rest of the story being ignored?
Did the earthquake stop at an international border?

If you look at a map, you will see that the Dominican Republic shares the island with Haiti, yet I have heard no mention of death, damage, or anything else about how the DR fared in the earthquake.

Is it because the DR is more prosperous then Haiti?

 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 08:18 am
From what I've read, it didn't hit DR. I don't know what you mean by "because it's more prosperous than Haiti"... what's that got to do with anything?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 08:21 am
It is more likely because the quake took place just to the west of Port au Prince, and was a very "shallow" quake. Many, perhaps most earthquakes occur many, many miles below the surface of the earth--some of them as much as a hundred miles or more beneath the surface crust. This is true even in most cases of quakes caused by the subduction of tectonic plates (such as is the case with the California fault lines). In the quake in Haiti, the event occurred very close to the surface (in a relative sense), having occurred only between five and six miles beneath the surface. So the effect was very intense, and significantly more intense near the epicenter, than is usually the case. However, it's effect was more attenuated as the distance from the epicenter increased, and although i haven't researched it, i would suspect that the effect on the eastern end of Hispaniola was negligible. I suspect that the Dominican Republic was not much affected.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 08:30 am
@Mame,
Able to take care of itself, without needing massive outside aid.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 08:34 am
I can't find the place where i first researched this after hearing a report on CNN, but This report from the VOA Science and Technology section has a paragraph which explains it:

Quote:
"The main factor is the earthquake's size," said Stuart Sipkin, a seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey. "But then there is also the earthquake depth. As you can imagine, the deeper the earthquake goes, the more of the energy is attenuated or spread out as it goes toward the surface. This was a very shallow earthquake, which means it would tend to be more destructive. And then there's the proximity to where people live


That report doesn't explain it clearly, but the quake, being shallow, had a devastating effect near the epicenter, greater, arguably, than a deep quake of a greater magnitude, while having a much smaller range of damage in comparison to a deep quake.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on it, but if i find the article i originally read after hearing the CNN report, i'll post a link to it here.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 08:36 am
@mysteryman,
You are drawing an inference which is contrary to the facts. Earthquakes are intensely local in their effect, and the ensuing destruction is highly dependent on combinations of factors that don't generally lead to widespread destruction.

The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake in San Francisco was of about the same magnitude as the one that hit Haiti. The tremors and the resulting damage were intensely local, and areas just a couple of miles from ground zero were unaffected.
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:04 am
@georgeob1,
Having been born and raised in Southern Ca, I am familiar with earthquakes and the damage they can cause.

However, I am no expert.
So, it seemed like a reasonable question to me
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:07 am
Jesus, you walk around with a goddamned chip on your shoulder all the time. Why would anyone waste their time answering your questions? I know i'm not going to bother with you any longer.
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:13 am
@Setanta,
?????

I explained why I asked the question.
How is that having "a chip on my shoulder"?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:27 am
O'George gives you a plausible and reasonable answer to your question, and you shoot back that you were raised in California, and you know about earthquakes. If that is so, why ask the question?
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:36 am
@Setanta,
No, I think you misunderstood him. He's just honestly questioning.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:42 am
Well, then he obviously misunderstood O'George, then, because i don't see that anything in O'George's response suggested that it was not a reasonable question.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:44 am
@Setanta,
I think he was saying that his experience of earthquakes where he is does not equate with the one in Haiti, so he was looking for an explanation.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:47 am
He was saying that he understands earthquakes, coming as he does from California, and that he didn't consider his questjon unreasonable. O'George did not state or imply that it was.

I'll tell ya what, you think your way, and i'll think mine.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:50 am
@Setanta,
okey-doke Cool
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 09:51 am
@Mame,
Perhaps, playing devil's advocate, what it COULD have to with is (putting aside prior-mentioned physics of destruction of this particular 'shallow' quake) the media with it's tendency to sensationalize, might put Haiti's plight at the forefront because that story could sell more papers or attract more viewers. It did this same sort of thing with the Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans at front-stage and put Beloxi Miss. at the backpage. Typical of the media to go where the pictures and camera can grab the biggest ratings andf ignore the 'almost-ran'.

However, as was written, DR


0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 10:09 am
The United States Geological Survey reports the depth of the magnitude 7.0 quake as 8.1 miles. It reports a subsequent quake (aftershock) 19 minutes later, with a magnitude of 5.5 and a depth of 6.2 miles. Those are very shallow quakes.



0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 11:08 am
@mysteryman,
mysteryman wrote:

While I fully agree that the earthquake that rocked Haiti is bad, why is the rest of the story being ignored?
Did the earthquake stop at an international border?

Well, yes, pretty much. Because of the location of the quake's epicenter southwest of Port-au-Prince, the effects of the quake were felt almost entirely in Haiti.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/shakemap/global/shake/2010rja6/download/intensity.jpg

Furthermore, the main population centers of the DR are on the southeast coast of the island, not in the central region along the Haitian border, as the following map shows:

http://www.bestcountryreports.com/media/D_Images/Domini_Pop.jpg

Perhaps the largest town in the DR nearest to the quake is Jimani, which has been affected largely by the influx of refugees from Haiti, not by the quake itself.

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/domrepublic_52471.html

mysteryman wrote:
If you look at a map, you will see that the Dominican Republic shares the island with Haiti, yet I have heard no mention of death, damage, or anything else about how the DR fared in the earthquake.

Is it because the DR is more prosperous then Haiti?

The DR is only more prosperous than Haiti in relative terms, since both are pretty poor. But then almost every country on earth is more prosperous than Haiti.

BTW, I found all of this information on the web in about 15 minutes. It was easy. You might want to try that sometime.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 11:13 am
@mysteryman,
I recall from my physics course that the energy of an earthquake is subject to the inverse-cube law. (1/2 inverse cube, actually, since the earthquake only propagates below the surface.)

The wave-front propagates in a sphere (or half-sphere, once the front reaches the surface), and the energy of the front rapidly decreases as distance from the epicenter increases.

0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jan, 2010 01:15 pm
Thanx for the explanations.
Having grown up in SoCal, I have experienced earthquakes, but I couldnt understand why it seemed that the DR was unaffected.

Having read your answers and loked at the data myself on the USGS website, now I understand.
Thank all of you for the info.
0 Replies
 
 

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