Transparency: Comparing the Chile and Haiti Earthquakes

In the span of two months, two massive earthquakes struck in Haiti and Chile. But while the temblor in Chile registered much higher on the...

In the span of two months, two massive earthquakes struck in Haiti and Chile. But while the temblor in Chile registered much higher on the Richter scale, the loss of life and damage in Haiti was far more severe. Why is that? Chile—which has experienced serious earthquakes in recent decades—has a robust building code to make sure buildings are earthquake resistant; Haiti has no code to speak of. And a look at both quake's scores on the Modified Mercali Intensity Scale—which is used to measure how earthquakes affect those experiencing them—shows that while Chile's quake may have been stronger overall, Haiti had a larger population and more urban areas hit by more intense and damaging shaking.

A collaboration between GOOD and Karlssonwilker.


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