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Aftershocks Affect Port-au-Prince and Petit-Goâve, Haiti – January 24th, 2010

January 24th, 2010 Category: Earthquakes, Image of the day

Haiti - January 20th, 2010

Haiti - January 20th, 2010

This orthorectified image focuses on Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on the shores of Port-au-Prince Bay. A massive earthquake occurred inland, on 12 January 2010, approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) west-southwest from Port-au-Prince at a depth of 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) at 16:53 UTC-5 on the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded six aftershocks in the two hours after the main earthquake. The aftershocks were at magnitudes of approximately 5.9, 5.5, 5.1, 4.5, and 4.5. Within the first nine hours 26 aftershocks of magnitude 4.2 or greater were recorded, 12 of which were magnitude 5.0 or greater.

On 20 January at 11:03 UTC, the date this image was taken, the strongest aftershock since the earthquake, measuring magnitude 5.9 Mw, struck Haiti. The U.S. Geological Survey reported its epicentre was about 56 kilometres (35 miles) WSW of Port-au-Prince, which would place it almost exactly under the city of Petit-Goâve. A UN representative reported that the aftershock collapsed seven buildings in Petit-Goâve.

Workers from the charity Save the Children reported hearing “already weakened structures collapsing”  but most sources report no further significant damage to infrastructure in Port-au-Prince. Further casualties are thought to be minimal because people had been sleeping in the open.

Earthquake Strikes Léogâne and Port-au-Prince, Haiti

18.5N 72.3W

January 21st, 2010 Category: Earthquakes

Haiti - January 19th, 2010

Haiti - January 19th, 2010

A major earthquake struck southern Haiti on Tuesday, January 12th, knocking down buildings and power lines and inflicting what its ambassador to the United States called a catastrophe for the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation.

The 2010 Haitian earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake. Its epicentre was near Léogâne, approximately 25 km (16 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Port-au-Prince can be seen along the shores of the Port-au-Prince Bay near the center of this orthorectified image, taken one week after the catastrophe.

The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010, at a depth of 13 km (8.1 miles). The United States Geological Survey recorded a series of at least 33 aftershocks, 14 of which were between magnitudes 5.0 and 5.9.

The International Red Cross estimated that about three million people were affected by the quake; the Haitian Interior Minister, Paul Antoine Bien-Aimé, anticipated on 15 January that the disaster would claim between 100,000 and 200,000 lives. Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive announced that by 18 January over 70,000 bodies had been buried in mass graves.

The earthquake caused major damage to Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area. Many notable landmark buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Presidential Palace (President René Préval survived), the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the main jail. The headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), located in the capital, collapsed and the Mission’s Chief, Hédi Annabi, his deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa, and the acting police commissioner were confirmed dead.

Aftershocks Continue Near L’Aquila, Death Toll Raised to 289

April 10th, 2009 Category: Earthquakes

L'Aquila, Italy - April 9th, 2009

L'Aquila, Italy - April 9th, 2009

Collapsed church, L'Aquila ©Adnkronos

Collapsed church, L'Aquila

Map of epicenter - source: BBC

Map of epicenter

The city of L’Aquila can be seen in the valley in the middle of this orthorectified ASAR image of central Italy.

The death toll from the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck the region was raised to 289 on Friday morning, reports the BBC.

The Italian government has extended the search for people who could still be alive under the rubble until Sunday; however, rescue workers believe the chances of finding survivors to be remote and so will focus on recovering bodies and assessing the extent of the damage.

Aftershocks are continuing to hamper such rescue efforts. On Thursday evening a tremor measuring 4.9, the fourth-largest since the earthquake, brought down a badly damaged four-storey building in the centre of L’Aquila.

Some 28,000 people have been left homeless by the quake. Meanwhile, President Napolitano has said poor construction is to blame for many of the deaths in Monday’s disaster.

Rescue worker and damaged building, L'Aquila, Italy - ©AFP

Rescue worker and damaged building

Aerial view of L'Aquila ©Adnkronos

Aerial view of L'Aquila

Citing “widespread irresponsibility” in the design and construction of modern buildings, he called for an investigation to find out how it was possible that essential buildings standards had not been applied. Modern buildings that suffered partial or total collapse in the quake include a hospital, city buildings, the provincial seat and university buildings, AFP news agency reports.

Tremors Continue in L’Aquila and the Abruzzo Region, Italy – UPDATE

April 8th, 2009 Category: Earthquakes

L'Aquila and the Abruzzo Region, Italy - April 6th, 2009

L'Aquila and the Abruzzo Region, Italy - April 6th, 2009

3D View

Simulated aerial view of Central Italy

The main picture is an orthorectified Radar (ASAR) image of Central Italy, focusing on the city of L’Aquila and the epicenter of the earthquake.

The thumbnail image gives a three dimensional look at the area simulating an aerial view (the Xvid codec, if missing, can be downloaded here).

Fresh aftershocks have rattled earthquake-hit central Italy, killing at least one more person and complicating rescue efforts, reported the BBC. One 5.2-magnitude tremor at 0253 (0053 GMT) on Thursday caused damage to buildings in L’Aquila and several nearby villages. Several of the aftershocks were felt as far away as Rome and Naples.

As the desperate search for survivors continues, officials have raised the death toll from the quake to 279. However, thanks to intense rescue efforts about 150 people have been pulled alive from the rubble.

Another 100 people are reported to be in serious condition and some 28,000 people were made homeless. Thousands spent a second night in tent camps around L’Aquila, the capital of the central Abruzzo region, as temperatures dropped to 4-5C overnight.

Crushed cars, L'Aquila, Italy - source: La Repubblica

Crushed cars, L'Aquila

Collapsed building, L'Aquila, Italy - source: La Repubblica

Collapsed building, L'Aquila

Italy’s Civil Protection Agency noted that tremors were continuing and it was difficult to know when they would end. At least seven strong shocks hit the region during the night, waking people from their sleep in the tent shelters.

Between 3,000 and 10,000 buildings are thought to have been damaged in L’Aquila, making the 13th-Century city of 70,000 uninhabitable for some time.

The head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocha, said 20,000 people were homeless and it could be months or even years before they were all back in their own homes.

L’Aquila and Central Italy Struck by Earthquake – UPDATE

April 6th, 2009 Category: Earthquakes

Rome and L'Aquila, Italy - April 5th, 2009

Rome and L'Aquila, Italy - April 5th, 2009

Collapsed building, L'Aquila, Italy - April 6th, 2009 ©AP

Collapsed building, L'Aquila

Quake epicenter © ESRI

Quake epicenter

Central Italy was struck by a powerful earthquake early Monday morning while residents were asleep. At least 150 people were killed in collapsed houses and other buildings, reported officials.

The deaths occurred mainly in L’Aquila, a medieval city about 60 miles east of Rome with a population of 68,000, and surrounding villages.

In the main image, the city of Rome is visible on Italy’s southern shore, just left of center. L’Aquila lies to the northeast, in a valley surrounded by the Apennine mountains.

The quake struck shortly after 3.30 a.m. local time and was centered in the mountainous Abruzzo region. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake’s epicenter was believed to be about 60 miles from Rome and that its depth was 6.2 miles. People in many parts of central Italy felt the quake. Residents of Rome, which is rarely hit by seismic activity, were woken by the tremors.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially said the magnitude of the quake was 6.7, then lowered it to 6.3 on the Richter Scale, though Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics put it at 5.8.

Rubble was strewn throughout the city of L’Aquila and nearby towns, blocking roads and hampering rescue teams and residents who were searching for survivors among the debris.

Officials said that between 10,000 and 15,000 buildings were damaged, and that some 100,000 people had left their homes.

Rubble in street, L'Aquila, Italy - April 6th, 2009 ©AFP

Rubble in street, L'Aquila

Ruptured ground, L'Aquila, Italy - April 6th, 2009 © ANSA

Ruptured ground, L'Aquila