Haiti Earthquake Underscores Need for Better Use of Seismic Information


  • Randy Showstack


When Eric Calais, professor of geophysics in Purdue University's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, first learned about the 12 January strike-slip earthquake along a portion of the Enriquillo—Plantain Garden fault zone (EPGFZ) in Haiti, he knew right away that it would be a shallow event and a large event, very close to the capital city of Portau-Prince. Having worked in Haiti, he also was aware that the poor nation lacks seismic and building construction codes. “My immediate reaction was, ‘This is going to be a total nightmare and a huge disaster for Haiti,’” Calais, who also is a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, told Eos.