This is the first in a series of 6 posts where I attempt to share my impressions on some of the 30,000 ft. questions pertaining to the earthquake. You know what I mean by 30,000 ft. questions? The “big picture” from 30,000 ft. above the scene of the tragedy. So, here goes……
Was it possible to predict the earthquake? There apparently are geological experts who have said that the possibility of an earthquake happening in the Caribbean was pretty substantial – over a 30 year period. So, could they have predicted that it was going to happen in Haiti and in the capital of Haiti when it did? I don’t think so.
Why was the earthquake so bad in Haiti? There were two main reasons that the earthquake in Haiti was so bad. One of those is man made and the other is natural. The earthquake happened less than 5 miles below ground. That means that it was very volatile and there was a substantial fluctuation of the ground causing way more damage. One of the people who was at GLA during the earthquake was outside playing basketball. He said that the top floor of our three floor main house was moving back and forth about 3 feet during the quake. There was an earthquake in Chile not too long after that was well over 8.0 on the Richter scale (Haiti’s was 7.0). The earthquake in Chile took place 35 miles below ground.
The man made reason that the earthquake was so bad was because it happened near a very busy capital city and a very crowded city. If it had happened out in the rural areas, it wouldn’t have been nearly so bad.
Why did so many people die? Having spent 20 + years in the banking/mortgage world, there are a lot of people who complain about zoning laws. Well, in Haiti, there are no zoning requirements. That meant that there was no control over the caliber of construction, there was no directions over the things that needed to be in houses so they were safe. Then, when you combine that with the violent shaking because the shallowness of the earthquake, it made it bad and many people suffered because of that.