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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.

Étang Saumâtre, Haiti and Lake Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

18.4N 71.6W

January 2nd, 2010 Category: Lakes

Dominican Republic and Haiti - December 19th, 2009

Dominican Republic and Haiti - December 19th, 2009

The border between Haiti (west) and the Dominican Republic (east) runs vertically between the two lakes visible in the bottom left corner: Étang Saumâtre (left) and Lake Enriquillo (right).

Lake Enriquillo is located in the Hispaniolan rift valley, which reaches from Port-au-Prince Bay in Haiti to near Neiba Bay in the Dominican Republic. The lake is 9 to 12 miles (15 to 20 km) wide, and covers an area of 102 square miles (265 km²). It is also the lowest point in the Caribbean, falling 129 feet (39 m) below sea level.

Étang Saumâtre (also known as Lake Azuei) is also located in the Hispaniolan rift valley. It Haiti’s largest lake, with an area of around 170 km² (65 square miles). It is some 29 km (18 miles) long and up to 9.7km (6 miles) wide.