Sunday, January 31, 2010

USGS Release: USGS Issues Assessment of Aftershock Hazards in Haiti (1/21/2010 5:49:20 PM)

USGS Release: USGS Issues Assessment of Aftershock Hazards in Haiti (1/21/2010 5:49:20 PM):
"The aftershock sequence of a magnitude-7 earthquake will continue for months if not years in the affected area. The frequency of events will diminish with time, but damaging earthquakes will remain possible in the coming months....Based on this activity and the statistics of aftershock sequences, our estimate for aftershock activity during a 30-day period beginning January 21, 2010, is as follows:

* The probability of one or more earthquakes of magnitude 7 or greater is less that 3 percent."

Seismology of Haiti EarthquakeImage by Podknox via Flickr

Wow, this is for a 30 day period!

What does it mean?

"Any aftershock above magnitude 5.0 will be widely felt and has the potential to cause additional damage, particularly to vulnerable, already damaged structures. Anyone living in Haiti or involved in relief work there must maintain situational awareness with regard to their personal earthquake safety. They should always be aware of what action they are going to take if the ground starts to shake. Open spaces are generally safe but running through falling debris to get to an open space may be dangerous. Only qualified engineers can determine if a damaged building is safe for reoccupation. Until engineering assistance arrives, a general rule to follow is: If it does not look safe, it probably is not safe. Entry into or reoccupation of obviously damaged structures should be avoided. "


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