Haiti and Tsunamis

If you can think back to January 12th, Haiti was hit by a couple of massive tsunamis that reached up to about ten feet high.  It was triggered by an earthquake that was set a magnitude of 7.0. This was usual because for waves of that magnitude, the quake has to be larger than 7.0. I was hurt when I had  heard about the disaster because one of my really good friends is from Haiti. Unfortunatly he told me that they could not find one of his cousins which was a 1 month old baby.They baby was never found but his family and surrounding neighbors have been trying to pick back up where they had left off before the earthquake and tsunamis hit.

I was amazed to find out that there were different kinds of tsunamis in which two of them had hit Haiti. One is called a tectonic tsunami, which is caused by movement of plates on the seafloor. It can usually take minutes or even up to hours for it to hit shores. Since it does take a minute for it to hit, it allows the people who are trained in spotting such disasters time to get away. The other one is called landslide generated tsunamis, which happens when unstable land collapses into the water following an earthquake. Landslides are more localized and tend to be much smaller.

I had read that the survivors of the earthquake had been seen standing on the beach watching the waves roll in. A lot of people would say that that was stupid and didn’t make sense as to why they would stand there and watch the tsunami come instead of run away. Well that can be easily explained according to numerous college scholars, simply because they are not that educated in tsunami warnings and being able to pick up the signs of that type of disaster. Its sad to hear that, but I feel that the only way to change that is to educate them and help them be able to spot out signs of tsunamis.

I was also surprised to find out that researchers were able to go back and look at satellite images to see the possible locations of wave impact. They looked for sand deposits , tree scratches and debris that were left behind after the disaster. I wonder if they we able to tell which wave hit when or where, because a tsunami consist of series of waves called wave trains. I would think so because of the technology that we have today. Either way disaster such as tsunamis that can move across an entire ocean without losing a great amount of energy should be tracked for health and safety reasons.

Like New Orleans,  it will never be the same in Haiti but I feel as long as people are willing to do their part and helping and in educating the recovery will not be as bad. Unfortunately that will not be last tsunami or earthquake that Haiti will have to endure.


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1 Response to Haiti and Tsunamis

  1. kccarr says:

    I definitely remember when this happened because one of my really good friends lost a family member there as well. I completely agree that we should help educate them to know the signs of a tsunami. It is really sad to know that if maybe someone had helped them sooner, there would not have been so many lives lost.

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