Seizmologists Say Haiti Earthquake Couldn’t Have Been Predicted
Experts say they’ve made progress identifying where earthquakes will hit in the coming decades, but they could not have predicted what happened in Haiti.
“There is currently no scientifically accepted method or theory of earthquake prediction,” said David Oglesby, an associate professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Riverside.
Geologists have long been aware that a major earthquake could rock the fault line that runs through the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. The hard part was figuring out when.
U.S. geologists presented a paper in 2008 concluding that Port-au-Prince, which had not been hit by a major seismic event since 1751, could face a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
But they could not say with any degree of accuracy if that quake would come the next day or in 30 years.
Notably, there are 16-18 magnitude 7 earthquakes a year, but most strike in sparsely populated areas.Click here for reuse options!
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