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Haiti warned of potential aftershock

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CCTV, February 2, 2010
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In Haiti, a team of US-based geologists are on a fact finding mission. They're warning that another big earthquake could shake the island at any time.

Haiti's National Palace in downtown Port-au-Prince is little more than a pile of rubble.

It was shaken to the ground during the January 12th earthquake, that measured 7 on the Richter scale.

There have been aftershocks since, but nothing as powerful as the original quake.

The scientific team now in Port au Prince is trying to determine whether another big one may be coming.

Eric Calais, geologist of Purdue University, said, "In the not so distant future, there could be another strong earthquake. The aftershocks have not yet finished. This series of aftershocks could last for several weeks, despite not having any strong aftershocks in the last few days. The seismic crisis has not yet ended. I am advising for people not to enter buildings that are deteriorated. "

Geologists in the team say they urgently need to get to the site to make a detailed assessment, before crucial geological information disappears.

Their research has been tracking the build-up of energy along the faults on the island of Hispaniola for five years which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Global Positioning System markers are used on the surface of the earth to monitor what happens along the fault, down to its full depth 20 kilometers underground.

Glen mattioli, geologist from University of Arkansas,said, "Earthquakes are an inevitable part of living in this region of the world and the best thing we can do is have adequate preparation and planning and one could hope when new infrastructure is built, it is built to higher standards and that the government makes every effort that it is built properly and perhaps that critical infrastructure, like hospitals and government buildings and things like that will not be located as close as it was before."

The National Science Foundation, a non-profit US organization, has awarded the team a new grant.

The donation will help the scientists to find and map the area where the fault ruptured, resurvey the existing GPS markers, and install ten new continuous GPS sites.


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