Haiti Quake Caused by Newly Found Fault

A scientist who in 2008 predicted Haiti could soon have a 7.2 earthquake has now found that the magnitude-7.0 quake that happened in January was caused by a newly discovered fault line.

In an article on the Seattle Times website, Associated Press Writer Rick Callahan says that Eric Calais, a professor of geophysics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. claims most of the geologic movement that caused the Haiti quake was from the newly-found fault, not the previously blamed Enriquillo fault.

“The new fault’s profile, including the possibility that it merges with the Enriquilo fault at some depth, won’t be known until scientists intensively study the region,” Callahan writes. Calais wasn’t sure, yet, how dangerous the new fault could be for Haiti in future, but did suggest Haiti’s seismic zone is far more complex than scientists once thought, says the article. Ross Stein, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., said that even in California, about half of all moderate or stronger earthquakes are caused by previously unknown faults, not on the many closely studied faults.

To read the article on the Seattle Times website, click here: