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January 12, 2010

Earthquakes common in Caribbean

This evening's devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti has been followed by a series of large aftershocks measuring more than 5.0 on the Richter scale. It was also preceded by  smaller quakes (2.9 to 3.4) in Puerto Rico, across the Mona Passage from the island Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic. Here's more news from Haiti.

USGSAlthough it is not as familiar as the Pacific's seismically and volcanically active "Ring of Fire," the Caribbean Islands also lie on an active fault system. Earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis are all facts of life in the islands, past and present.

The much-visited port of Charlotte Amalie, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was the scene of a devastating tsunami in 1867 that sent a 20-foot wall of water surging in to the harbor. Large U.S. Naval ships were beached by the waves. Other Caribbean ports also felt the tsunami.

Another large quake (magnitude 7.5) in October 1918 struck Puerto Rico. It killed more than 100 people, caused widespread damage, and sent a tsunami as high as 20 feet ashore.

An earthquake in Jamaica in 1692 destroyed the port city of Kingston, and dropped it into the sea. More than 5,000 people died. Jamaicans felt the Tuesday evening quake in Haiti, too.

The most famous volcanic event in the Caribbean was the 1902 eruption of Mt. Pele, on theMonserrat ash flow French island of Martinique.  Now regarded as the deadliest volcanic eruprtion of the 20th century, it killed nearly all 30,000 residents of the capital, Saint-Pierre.

One of the two survivors lived because he was in a poorly ventilated jail cell.

On the island of Monserrat (right), the Soufriere Hills volcano has been in some state of eruption since 1995, when it destroyed the capital town of Plymouth. Two-thirds of the island's population was forced to leave. Here's a recent satellite photo.

(AP PHOTO/Brennan Linsley, 2006)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 6:01 PM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Earthquakes


I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida I wonder how the tsunami will effect Florida. Does anyone know?

On January 14 1907 Kingston Jamaica was hit by the island's most devastating earthquake in its recent history. Most of downtown Kingston was destroyed, not only by the quake but by the devastating fire which followed. I have visited Port-au-Prince, which in some ways seems like a mirror image of Kingston. It is terrifying to think of the destruction and suffering there now. I am sure that the world community will rally to the assistance of this beleaguered nation, and that everyone will be holding the people of Haiti in their hearts and thoughts at this moment of terrible crisis.

Will Alaska and California be next in the chain of Massive Quakes around the Ring of Fire?... Strong earthquakes may weaken distant fault lines (Reuters, Sep 30,2009)...
- National Geographic (November 19, 2008): "High-energy electrons captured over Antarctica could reveal the presence of a nearby but MYSTERIOUS ASTROPHYSICAL OBJECT that's bombarding Earth with cosmic rays, researchers say"...
- "Planet X confirmed" - cosmonaut and pilot Marina Popovich... Russian Television Reports on Nibiru:

why is this US news? sorry for the earthquake haiti... we'll send a sympathy card but don't expect we will automatically send money!

FR: It is US news because a great many Haitians live in the US; because Haiti is the most impoverished nation in the hemisphere, and when things go badly there, Haitians risk their lives to come here; and because we will most assuredly send money and aid to Haiti, as we should.

What Carl and a lot of other people do not understand is that all the people of the United States (unless you're American Indian) all come from different parts of the world. We're a country that's made of people from all other cultures and countries. We are very blessed and fortunate to live in the United States, thanks to our ancestors. How inconsiderate to ask why this is US news! People in the US and all over the world are finding out that family members have died or are in severe danger. It is completely understandable if people can't afford to send money, but to make a crack about it with a sympathy card? Seriously? What we can all do is pray for the lives of those who are suffering.

Hey Tom,
Why is this US news? I agree! Why would a 7.0 earthquake just to our south be US news? I'm sure that after struggling with the shocking yet important US NEWS of Mark Maquire doing steroids, the last thing any American would want to hear about is some stupid earthquake in Haiti. I apologize on behalf of the people of Haiti, dead and alive, since Americans clearly have more important things to be concerned about. Thank god the REAL US news will not bother us with this silliness!

USA is the land of the melting pot and Haitians are a part of it! It is sad to see such an insensitive and ignorant comment made like that especially during a time when we should be reaching out to help.

Ummmm....hello! I cant even believe you asked why this is US News! What rock did you crawl out from under?

Aside from all the other comments about Haiti and why their news is important to the rest of us humans (there are some outstanding US citizens who are Hatians and have family there and I am sure they would like to know what is going on over there).....I would like to point out one other small tidbit....Puerto Rico....IS A U.S. TERRITORY!!!! It is sad that many people dont realize this and think that Puerto Ricans need a Green Card to come to the mainland. I know it is shocking, but Puerto Ricans are given US Social Security Numbers when they are babies just like us, they pay taxes to the US Government just like us, they join and fight for the US Armed Forces and give their lives for US Citizens, just like us etc.... (Not to discount Haitians. We do also have Hatians who are U.S. citizens and do the above mentioned - but not all Hatians are US citizens where as all Puerto Ricans are).

Wake up all of you people who know nothing about their own country! No I'm not Puerto Rican, but do I really need to be Puerto Rican to know about Puerto Rico? Do I need to be Haitian to have sympathy on other humans, or to learn about something that may be in the history books that my Grand Children (if I ever have any) will be reading? Im sure my Grandma wasnt thinking why do I need to hear about Germany when Hitler was in reign!

One last point to Trudi and two are totally insensitive and need to get a grip...your words make me sick to my stomache! When a plane goes down in the U.S., when a child is trapped in a well in the U.S., when 911 happened I guarantee you that each of those incidents made headline news around the entire globe, and no one was saying, "Dont think our country's gonna help you US - why do I need to know about this crap - who cares". AND as was pointed out earlier - we ALL have different lineage - not one person can say they are just "American". If you are American you could be of ANY decent English, Scotish, African, Russian, Canadian, Indian, Haitian, Mexican, etc...

EVERY PERSON LIVING IN AMERICA COMES FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY (unless you are 100% Native American or Native Indian!!!) How much more can it be broken down? So get off of your "Holier Than Thou High Horses"!!! You are not better than any other race - do you even know your ethnicity?

I served my country for 7 years and this kind of insensitivity is exactly the reason we need service members risking their lives everyday because people dont care about each other, and are so sick hearted. Its called HUMANITY people! You oughta try a dose of it. Might do you some good.

I'd like to apologize for saying Carl in my comment, I meant to say Tom. I was looking at the wrong posted by. I see that Kristina made the same error with Carl and my name. I completely agree with everything that Kristina says. These people making negative remarks needs to put themselves in the shoes of the people of Haiti. Total devastation can happen anywhere at anytime, so you never know when it will happen to us next!

Here are some more devestation photos of the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake, unbelievable images, wow!!!

I can only say that I pray Tom is not so insensitive as he sounded. I understand his frustration with the cost of one disaster after another. I too am frustrated I don't have unlimited funds to give to those in need. All we can do is our best to help and pray about the rest. I pray we will all love our neighbors as ourselves and forgive each other our imperfections. ;-)

You know it’s like this country is cursed or something, I mean so much poverty, most westerners wouldn’t last a day! And now this terrible quake…And what are we in the west doing about it…probably going in with our cameras!
This was really shocking…

Tom- You Are a loser!!!!!!!!!!!!I

I am sick to my stomach reading your comment. No wonder people hate Americans all over the world. Go crawl under your rock and shut up you loser.

God bless the people in Haiti

I agree with Kristina and Maria. Our country is hated by the rest of the world because of people like Tom. Sad that we live in a world like this. I have faith that God will make things right and not to far from now and people like Tom will witness His justice and love for all His people. God Bless all in Haiti. May His Holy Spirit cover all souls who departed and guide and protect all who continue their journey on this earth until His calling; in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, AMEN!

I DO NOT agree at all with what Tom says but he does have a right to his opinion. It's unfortunate that his statement is full of ignorance and hopefully not driven by hate or racism. I live in Central Florida and we have received many Haitians (at least 20 plane loads - as of yesterday) because of the earthquake. Some are staying in the area but for others we are a stepping stone until they can get to family in other parts of the country. I hope that they do not face any negativity or lack of support from people like Tom. This is a time for service and to do anything that we can to help during this terrible time this country is facing. At least 3 million remain homeless in Haiti...please donate to the American Red Cross....every single dollar helps. On an another note...shame on Royal Caribbean for continuing to send cruise ships to Labadee, Haiti (a private property on the island for the cruise line) for vacationing tourists!!! They should donate a ship to house some of the injured people, elderly, and children. A limbo line during this devastation?!?! Really?!?! Shame on you!! I will re-think booking my next cruise with RCCL!!!

I feel for the people in Haiti. ALL of them. It's aweful and devastating. I wish this upon nobody. However, I do not agree with Obama flooding the US with these people. They are going to milk our system and never leave. Not to mention how much money we are giving them. Did anyone not see this country before the quake? It wasn't pretty. It actually looks very similar. The amount of money that's been given should have rebuilt the country to what it was before. This is going to end up another "Katrina". We can't even take care of our own! How about our service men and women who have to skip their leave or have it cut short, so they can go to Haiti and help yet ANOTHER country. Do you think they will get that time back?

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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