Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another Haiti Earthquake Brought on by 6.1 Aftershock

In Haiti, another earthquake was the last thing needed. Yet today, another Haiti earthquake/aftershock struck with nearly as much force as the last one. In fact, the aftershock rated a 6.1 on the Richter scale, just .9 less than the 7.0 that battered the nation. The death toll and damage can’t be as bad as last week’s quake, especially since there’s much less to destroy now. But in Haiti, another earthquake continues the seemingly unending nightmare.

Since this was a mere aftershock, and not a full fledged earthquake, the damage shouldn’t be as extensive. Yet considering how Haiti has barely cleared the damage from the last earthquake, more tremors are not welcome - especially ones that rate a 6.0.

There are no official totals yet on the damage and in how many more may have been killed. According to Yahoo News, this time the center was 35 miles west-southwest of Port-au-Prince. If there is any consolation, it’s that another Haiti earthquake occurred farther away from the battered capital.

Yahoo also reports that more rubble was shaken from the buildings, and people were once more running through the streets. What’s more, no one knows if this was the most severe aftershock possible.

Thus far, according to the USGS, 40 aftershocks have already occurred as a result of the Haiti earthquake. This was merely the biggest one, but if this trend continues on longer, there could be larger tremors on the way.

Haiti faced another earthquake just over a week after the first deadly strike. The nation was already ill equipped to face the first one, for various reasons. Further natural disasters, so soon after the first tragedy, threaten the precious little left that the people need to survive. However, it only illuminates how a quick fix is impossible.

Aid and telethons can only do so much in the short term, but the long term is another story. Within a few more weeks, the nation will likely fade out of the headlines, as other stories and scandals emerge. But Haiti will still face further horrors when the world isn’t paying attention anymore. Aftershocks and another Haiti earthquake may only be the beginning of it.

Just yesterday, an article in the New York Times predicted the worst if Haiti was hit by further disaster. Economics professor Edward L. Glasser wrote that “Haiti’s ability to weather the next storm’ depends on years of investments. Already, that theory is being put to the test.

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