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Chile & Haiti Earthquakes: What's The Difference? [Video Explanation Included]

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Yes, the quake that struck the coast of Chile this morning was about 100 times stronger than the quake that devastated Port-au-Prince in early January. But the death toll in the very low three digits—214 reported by CNN but we’ve seen in Haiti, where 230,000 are already dead. How can that be?

Per reports: There are a few reasons. First and most obvious, the construction in Chile is far better than construction in Haiti. A popular saying among seismologists is that “earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.” Chile’s buildings are better built, with better materials, higher-skilled laborers, and an eye toward earthquake resistance. They are therefore more earthquake-resistant. Many fewer of them collapsed, so fewer people died.

Second reason is that, unlike Haiti, Chile is accustomed to earthquakes. It has what those who work in disaster preparedness call “earthquake consciousness.” The country sits at the boundaries of the Pacific and South American tectonic plates, and it experiences an average of one magnitude-8 quake a year. As several media outlets have already noted, the largest earthquake ever recorded, a 9.9, occurred in the same region. Globally, quakes of 8.8 or higher are pretty rare. But if there’s any country that would be expecting one, it’s Chile.

While watching CNN this guy explained it best to me here in this video...

I could not find his other explanation which was more detailed but I will try and explain in my own words. Yes, Haiti's earthquake was 7.0 which is less than Chile's 8.8 but a big difference is that Haiti's earthquake happened in a majorly populated area but in a smaller area than Chile. So think of it like this....Chile's earthquake hit a large area but not so populated of 8.8 but Haiti felt a 7.0 in a smaller place so it felt worse..especially that people felt the strongest points. Chile's strongest points were mainly in water. This is why the Pacific Tsunami Warning were called. Also, just like stated above, Chile's structure and the people in general are more equipt to handle such a disaster.

Here is another video I found explaining this as well...It's long though, but he talks about the difference in the beginning of the video...

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