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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.

Flooding from Swollen Indus River in Pakistan

August 30th, 2010 Category: Floods, Rivers

Pakistan - August 29th, 2010

The swollen Indus River in Pakistan is laden with thick brown sediments, dredged up by heavy monsoon rains. Such monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, lower Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan caused have been causing devastating floods in the country since July 2010.

At one point, approximately one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area was underwater due to the flooding. Present estimates indicate that over two thousand people have died and over a million homes have been destroyed since the flooding began.

The United Nations estimates that more than twenty million people are injured or homeless as a result of the flooding, exceeding the combined total of individuals affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. However, the death count in each of those three disasters was significantly higher than the number of people killed so far in the floods.

The Pakistani economy has been harmed by extensive damage to infrastructure and crops. Structural damages are estimated to exceed 4 billion USD, and wheat crop damages are estimated to be over 500 million USD. Officials estimate the total economic impact to be as much as 43 billion USD.

At one point, approximately one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area was underwater due to the flooding.

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