*Watch this MSNBC report that details how and why Saturday’s 8.8 earthquake was 500 times more powerful than haiti’s 7.0 earthquake, but killed considerably fewer people and did seemingly less physical damage overall. After the video, read more info on the Chilean earthquake.
*Chile was ready for quake, Haiti wasn’t
The earthquake in Chile was far stronger than the one that struck Haiti last month – yet the death toll in this Caribbean nation is magnitudes higher.
The reasons are simple.
Chile is wealthier and infinitely better prepared, with strict building codes, robust emergency response and a long history of handling seismic catastrophes. No living Haitian had experienced a quake at home when the Jan. 12 disaster crumbled their poorly constructed buildings.
And Chile was relatively lucky this time.
Saturday’s quake was centered offshore an estimated 21 miles (34 kilometers) underground in a relatively unpopulated area while Haiti’s tectonic mayhem struck closer to the surface – about 8 miles (13 kilometers) – and right on the edge of Port-au-Prince, factors that increased its destructiveness.
“Earthquakes don’t kill – they don’t create damage – if there’s nothing to damage,” said Eric Calais, a Purdue University geophysicist studying the Haiti quake.
The U.S. Geological Survey says eight Haitian cities and towns – including this capital of 3 million – suffered “violent” to “extreme” shaking in last month’s 7-magnitude quake, which Haiti’s government estimates killed some 220,000 people. Chile’s death toll was in the hundreds.
By contrast, no Chilean urban area suffered more than “severe” shaking – the third most serious level – Saturday in its 8.8-magnitude disaster, by USGS measure. The quake was centered 200 miles (325 kms) away from Chile’s capital and largest city, Santiago.
Read MORE of this AP report HERE.