02 February 2010

Videos: Explain Rare Haiti Earthquake, Ring of Fire Level of Power

From Denny: On the Richter scale this earthquake was a hugely powerful "7." What does that mean in explosive power of Mother Nature? Try 35 times more powerful than one atom bomb. The quake lasted a long full minute when most quakes last only a few seconds. This is why there is so much devastation.

There is a long lateral fault that runs through Haiti and scientists had warned the country they were at risk for a huge earthquake. It has been 200 years since the country experienced this scale of disaster and this type of magnitude quake tends to run in 200 - 250 year cycles according to geologists.

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Scientists predicted this earthquake in 2008

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Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam, a seismologist at Columbia University, shows Chris Wragge some of the geographical zones most at risk of an earthquake.

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This one shows diagrams of the underlying seismic plates and how they interacted along the fault line of about 40 miles running laterally through the country to create so much damage.

From CBS: About 90 percent of the world's earthquakes strike inside the "ring of fire," which is a 25,000 mile stretch of ocean trenches and volcanoes. Haiti's earthquake was rare, but expected.

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