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Swift
2010-Jan-13, 02:27 AM
From CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/12/haiti.earthquake/index.html)

A major earthquake struck southern Haiti on Tuesday, knocking down buildings and power lines and inflicting what its ambassador to the United States called a catastrophe for the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation.

...

Witnesses reported heavy damage throughout the capital, Port-au-Prince, including to the president's residence and century-old homes nearby, and The Associated Press reported that a hospital collapsed. President Rene Preval is safe, Joseph said, but there was no estimate of the dead and wounded Tuesday evening.

The magnitude 7.0 quake struck about 10 miles (15 kilometers) southwest of Port-au-Prince shortly before 5 p.m.
I didn't even know that had earthquakes in that area.

Gillianren
2010-Jan-13, 03:07 AM
I didn't even know that had earthquakes in that area.

Oh, yeah. As I recall, Kingston(?) was wiped out entirely by a quake in the eighteenth century.

LaurelHS
2010-Jan-13, 04:05 AM
Oh, yeah. As I recall, Kingston(?) was wiped out entirely by a quake in the eighteenth century.

It was in 1907 (http://www.midislandcarrental.com/jamaica-times/16jan1907.htm).

This is terrible news. Haiti is a very poor country already. This is something Henrik Olsen mentioned about earthquakes last year (http://www.bautforum.com/science-technology/88417-los-angeles-earthquake-4-7-a.html); he said the poorer the people, the worse the damage.

Gillianren
2010-Jan-13, 07:00 AM
Sorry, I was thinking Port Royal, destroyed by earthquake in 1692. Which is the seventeenth century, as it happens, but only just barely.

mahesh
2010-Jan-13, 11:27 AM
It was in 1907 (http://www.midislandcarrental.com/jamaica-times/16jan1907.htm).

This is terrible news. Haiti is a very poor country already. This is something Henrik Olsen mentioned about earthquakes last year (http://www.bautforum.com/science-technology/88417-los-angeles-earthquake-4-7-a.html); he said the poorer the people, the worse the damage.

I agree Laurel / Henrik
Such calamities, (which events, are unfortunate anywhere, really..) in the developing regions of the world always leave a sour thingie in the soul...

Earthquake strikes X+, two dead, damage estimated at 5 billion dollars...
Earthquake strikes X-, 500 dead, damage estimated at 500 rouppeeys or whatever ...

I am sorry for the people of Haiti (and of every other place this happens)
just looking at the picture in today's The Guardian ...as I write this...
(makes me think, of the top off my bat, of the potential astronomers and scientists and Nobel winners amongst the children)...

geonuc
2010-Jan-13, 11:29 AM
The entire Caribbean is a tectonic mess. Hence, earthquakes will be frequent.

01101001
2010-Jan-13, 01:46 PM
From one in different earthquake country, we are thinking of those affected. It's horrible.

Do we have any BAUT members in Haiti, or with close ties?

weatherc
2010-Jan-13, 02:08 PM
I have a close friend who does missionary work who was there (in Port Au Prince) when the quake hit yesterday. I haven't heard from her yet, and I am very concerned. I'm hoping that it's just the problems with communications keeping us from knowing if she's okay.

Argos
2010-Jan-13, 02:09 PM
An important Brazilian, Zilda Arns, linked to humanitarian organizations, has perished in the catastrophe. If the elite is having a hard time, I fear for the rest of the Haitian population.

Edit: News account that the head of the UN corps, Hedi Annabi [besides five Brazilian military men], also died.

weatherc
2010-Jan-13, 02:16 PM
An important Brazilian, Zilda Arns, linked to humanitarian organizations, has perished in the catastrophe. If the elite is having a hard time, I fear for the rest of the Haitian population.I heard this morning that the presidential palace suffered at least a partial collapse. This is going to be a very rough time for a nation that was already suffering.

Argos
2010-Jan-13, 02:30 PM
Port-au-Prince airport reopens.

01101001
2010-Jan-13, 02:57 PM
I haven't heard from her yet, and I am very concerned. I'm hoping that it's just the problems with communications keeping us from knowing if she's okay.

I've been the one that was out of touch due to communications problems. It's frustrating knowing people are worried about you and you can't reach them to let them know you're OK.

I hope she is well, and odds are very much she is. Probably, she's focused on fixing whatever she can that's at hand.

weatherc
2010-Jan-13, 03:15 PM
I've been the one that was out of touch due to communications problems. It's frustrating knowing people are worried about you and you can't reach them to let them know you're OK.

I hope she is well, and odds are very much she is. Probably, she's focused on fixing whatever she can that's at hand.Thanks. I know she's probably fine, and that she's probably trying her best to find some sort of communication out of Haiti, but not knowing is pretty scary (and it has to be even worse for her family here in the U.S. than for me).

EDIT: I just got word that my friend is fine and will be trying to come back to the U.S. tomorrow.

Sam5
2010-Jan-13, 03:22 PM
Here is a source in Haiti for recent photos and messages. Search around this web page for photos and messages posted by different people.

http://radioteleginen.ning.com/

nauthiz
2010-Jan-13, 04:04 PM
Thanks. I know she's probably fine, and that she's probably trying her best to find some sort of communication out of Haiti, but not knowing is pretty scary (and it has to be even worse for her family here in the U.S. than for me).

It really is the pits. My father and stepmother were in a village near Jacmel when the 2004 rebellion broke out and the worst part was just not knowing how to get in contact with them. It's funny how easy it is to take having a cell phone tower every 58m for granted.

Glad to hear your friend is OK!

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-13, 10:40 PM
The thing that makes this tragedy inexcusable is the fact that the geologic community had been in almost unanimous agreement that Haiti was in great danger of experiencing just such a quake. Both the earthquake and its aftermath should come as no surprise to anyone. The substandard construction practices pervasive in Haiti along with the well known danger of a major quake makes this situation a forgone conclusion.

All of us should hang our heads in shame at the scenes currently playing out before our eyes. The danger of a quake in Haiti and as well as its magnitude have been discussed at conferences and warnings have been issued, but to no avail. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of how much pain and suffering could have been avoided if the international aid, arriving now and in the months to come, had been spent on preventative measures rather than on rescue and rebuilding efforts.

sarongsong
2010-Jan-14, 08:54 AM
Pretty much point-blank range :(
January 13, 2010
...The [7.0] quake struck...15 km south-west of the city at a depth of 10 km. Two aftershocks registering 5.9 and 5.5 on the Richter scale followed within the hour, with more temblors later...the UN building that collapsed was...five stories tall; concrete; reinforced concrete building; very solid...
newkerala.com (http://www.newkerala.com/news/fullnews-29750.html)

Jens
2010-Jan-14, 09:19 AM
The thing that makes this tragedy inexcusable is the fact that the geologic community had been in almost unanimous agreement that Haiti was in great danger of experiencing just such a quake. Both the earthquake and its aftermath should come as no surprise to anyone. The substandard construction practices pervasive in Haiti along with the well known danger of a major quake makes this situation a forgone conclusion.

Unfortunately, this is true in many earthquake prone places. Just think of how many people live in places like Iran, India, Indonesia, and probably most importantly, China. It's a big problem and people know about it, but just changing building codes often is insufficient. It would take a tremendous amount of money to make buildings resistant. Many places have slums to deal with in the first place, so it's going to be hard to find the kind of money you are looking for.

geonuc
2010-Jan-14, 11:21 AM
Unfortunately, this is true in many earthquake prone places. Just think of how many people live in places like Iran, India, Indonesia, and probably most importantly, China. It's a big problem and people know about it, but just changing building codes often is insufficient. It would take a tremendous amount of money to make buildings resistant. Many places have slums to deal with in the first place, so it's going to be hard to find the kind of money you are looking for.
Not to mention the normally pervasive corruption in those places. Why build to code when a small 'gratuity' to the building inspector is so much cheaper.

geonuc
2010-Jan-14, 11:25 AM
This disaster appears to be a bad one, particularly since it struck a very poor nation that very recently had to deal with a series of devastating hurricane floods.

For those so inclined, now might be a good time to open your wallet.

JohnD
2010-Jan-14, 11:34 AM
Caribbean Plate tectonics well studied.
Including a fault, the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden Fault, right under Port-au-Prince.
See: http://www.earthbyte.org/Research/Current/Resprojects/Platekinematics/Caribbean/caribbean_paper.html
esp. plate 2
and http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=42307
John

geonuc
2010-Jan-14, 11:41 AM
Good links, thanks. I mentioned above that the area was a tectonic mess, and Figure 2 in your first link certainly illustrates that, particularly for Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

The fault lines and plate boundaries shown for the northern part of South America don't even seem possible.

NEOWatcher
2010-Jan-14, 02:42 PM
The press opportunities have started.

Now; this could be the result of bad reporting, but all these celebrities asking us to contribute without any statements about what they will do irks me.

Stars urge fans to help quake-rocked Haiti (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34849719/ns/entertainment-gossip/)

I don't need to hear from a celeb to know it's bad, unless they can say "join me while I do X for them"

Argos
2010-Jan-14, 02:47 PM
Where is Bono when you need him?

nauthiz
2010-Jan-14, 04:05 PM
The press opportunities have started.

Now; this could be the result of bad reporting, but all these celebrities asking us to contribute without any statements about what they will do irks me.

Stars urge fans to help quake-rocked Haiti (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34849719/ns/entertainment-gossip/)

I don't need to hear from a celeb to know it's bad, unless they can say "join me while I do X for them"

It's pretty fair for Wyclef Jean to be asking for help. Like the article mentioned, he's been a major figure in activism for Haiti for a while now. For him to go from that to staying mum about the current situation would be some sort of betrayal.

NEOWatcher
2010-Jan-14, 04:28 PM
It's pretty fair for Wyclef Jean to be asking for help...
There's no doubt that some (or many) have a valid claim to ask, but I keep seeing things like this:
Hollywood rushes to aid Haiti (http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/01/14/celebs.to.aid.haiti/index.html?hpt=Sbin)


Ben Stiller, Adam Lambert and Lindsay Lohan all took to Twitter to urge people to lend their help and attention to the devastated nation.
To me, that's no more that a "join my twitter" plea.

And, of course, like I said, it could be the media doing this because they like soundbites over real information.

Gillianren
2010-Jan-14, 05:59 PM
Where is Bono when you need him?

Maybe another planet has also called upon him to be their saviour. He can't be everywhere at once!

Sam5
2010-Jan-14, 07:36 PM
It's a big problem and people know about it, but just changing building codes often is insufficient. It would take a tremendous amount of money to make buildings resistant.




I agree. I covered many disasters while in the news business. There is no way to construct every home on earth to resist all earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, forest/brush fires, floods, explosions, revolutions, avalanches, termites, etc.

Even the best home designs don’t always work. Sometimes the destruction or survival of a home is just the result of chance:

Hurricane Ike damage in Texas:
http://www.greatdreams.com/weather/hurricane-ike11-gilchrist-tx.jpg

Other photos of building disasters around the world:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=765506

Hotel Montana, Haiti,
before:
http://www.htmontana.com/

after:
http://www.haitifeed.com/2010/01/14/hotel-montana-totaly-destroyed/

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 07:58 PM
Many places have slums to deal with in the first place, so it's going to be hard to find the kind of money you are looking for.
The world finds finds money to money to handle the aftermath of such a disaster, but never to prevent the worst results of such a disaster!!

All I am suggesting is that the some of the money that is spent on disasters be spent on some prevention. Unfortunately the world is too blind, pigheaded, and greedy to ever consider such a course of action.

Argos
2010-Jan-14, 08:13 PM
Even the best home designs don’t always work. Sometimes the destruction or survival of a home is just the result of chance

Well, that´s true. Many [I´d say a lot of] sub-standard houses in Port-au-Prince survived unscathed.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 08:34 PM
I agree. I covered many disasters while in the news business. There is no way to construct every home on earth to resist all earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, forest/brush fires, floods, explosions, revolutions, avalanches, termites, etc.

Even the best home designs don’t always work. Sometimes the destruction or survival of a home is just the result of chance:

Hurricane Ike damage in Texas:
http://www.greatdreams.com/weather/hurricane-ike11-gilchrist-tx.jpg

Other photos of building disasters around the world:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=765506

Hotel Montana, Haiti,
before:
http://www.htmontana.com/

after:
http://www.haitifeed.com/2010/01/14/hotel-montana-totaly-destroyed/
Both you and Jen miss the point. A dollar spent before the disaster is far better than a dollar spent after the disaster!!

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 08:37 PM
Well, that´s true. Many [I´d say a lot of] sub-standard houses in Port-au-Prince survived unscathed.
Of course they did. The forces visited on any structure during an earthquake are governed by chaotic mathematics. That a substandard house survived does not suggest that is earthquake proof. It only suggests that the set of forces acting upon it was not as great as right next door.

Fazor
2010-Jan-14, 08:42 PM
Both you and Jen miss the point. A dollar spent before the disaster is far better than a dollar spent after the disaster!!

Who says that there weren't dollars spent before the disaster? Clearly there's been funds and groups to help Haiti. That's why there were so many missionaries over there when the quake hit.

Really, it's great to help. But in the end, is it really feasible to say that a handful of prominent countries are responsible for disaster-proofing the world?

nauthiz
2010-Jan-14, 08:51 PM
If you were the Supreme Ruler of Haiti and someone gave you a billion dollars, would you spend it on:

1. Development projects
2. Tearing down old buildings and replacing them with new ones

Gillianren
2010-Jan-14, 08:55 PM
It's not as though houses in the United States are necessarily "earthquake proof" themselves. My mother's only ever lost a chimney and the dining room window, but a lot of people have lost a lot more. I agree that it's worse in most other countries, and I agree that it would be better if living standards were improved. Not just for earthquake safety, either. For the sake of people living in those conditions. On the other hand, it's easy to be smug and superior after the fact when you yourself didn't do anything before the fact.

Argos
2010-Jan-14, 08:56 PM
Of course they did. The forces visited on any structure during an earthquake are governed by chaotic mathematics. That a substandard house survived does not suggest that is earthquake proof. It only suggests that the set of forces acting upon it was not as great as right next door.

Yep. We all agree on that.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 09:03 PM
Who says that there weren't dollars spent before the disaster? Clearly there's been funds and groups to help Haiti. That's why there were so many missionaries over there when the quake hit.

Really, it's great to help. But in the end, is it really feasible to say that a handful of prominent countries are responsible for disaster-proofing the world?
If they have the funds for the rescue, those funds would be better spend before rather than after the disaster.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 09:06 PM
If you were the Supreme Ruler of Haiti and someone gave you a billion dollars, would you spend it on:

1. Development projects
2. Tearing down old buildings and replacing them with new ones
This is not a valid argument, no one is giving the disaster relief to "The Supreme Ruler of Haiti" why would one give the preventative funding to "The Supreme Ruler of Haiti"?

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 09:11 PM
We all sit here and wring our hands over this disaster, and yet it was completely expected and many of the worst aspects of it could have been prevented with a modest investment; certainly less than handling the disaster. Unfortunately too many people here and in general have reasons why nothing could have been done.

I am not suggesting that every structure, dwelling, and public building in Haiti could have been made earthquake proof, but even targeted plan would have made a world of difference for a fraction of the cost of disaster relief.

Fazor
2010-Jan-14, 09:25 PM
If they have the funds for the rescue, those funds would be better spend before rather than after the disaster.
But with your argument, the amount spent in aid as response to this disaster would have to have gone to every part of the world that needs standard of living improvements.

Divide the aid effort by that, and how much did you really change the outcome of Haiti's earthquake?

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 10:02 PM
But with your argument, the amount spent in aid as response to this disaster would have to have gone to every part of the world that needs standard of living improvements.

Divide the aid effort by that, and how much did you really change the outcome of Haiti's earthquake?
Geeze!! No, there are many places in the world that have low standards of living but are not in danger of a natural disaster of this sort. For example, India has many areas of low standard of living, but the are not in any immediate danger of an earthquake. Other places will some day have an earthquake, but the changes are low that it will happen any time soon.

In contrast, it was well known that at some time in the near future, give or take 10 years, Haiti was going to have this quake. SOMETHING COULD HAVE BEEN DONE WITH THE MONEY FLOWING IN NOW since it was inevitable that the result was going to be a disaster over the short term.




Edited To Add:

There is always money to throw at disasters, but there that same money is never available to prevent some of the worst consequences of a disaster that is about to happen.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-14, 10:07 PM
Geeze!! No, there are many places in the world that have low standards of living but are not in danger of a natural disaster of this sort. For example, India has many areas of low standard of living, but the are not in any immediate danger of an earthquake. Other places will some day have an earthquake, but the changes are low that it will happen any time soon.

Are earthquakes the only disaster that is preventable through infrastructure? Or are earthquakes the only disaster you care about personally?

sarongsong
2010-Jan-14, 10:22 PM
...it was well known that at some time in the near future, give or take 10 years, Haiti was going to have this quake...References?
In all the news coverage of this tragedy, has anyone noticed any Haitian government officials anywhere? So far, I've seen nothing to indicate they even have a government in place.

Swift
2010-Jan-14, 10:26 PM
There is always money to throw at disasters, but there that same money is never available to prevent some of the worst consequences of a disaster that is about to happen.
I understand your point THY, and I think there is something to it. Part of it is, IMHO, the nature of humans and their institutions (like governments).

If two weeks ago someone had come out and said "Please send $25 to the Haitian Earthquake Building Fund, so we can make buildings in Haiti earthquake resistant", I suspect that the vast majority of people would have not done anything. But, now that there is this immediate disaster, people are much more willing to throw money at it (and I'm not saying we shouldn't give money - I actually made a contribution today).

I can't say I completely understand why this is, but it is very common. For 20 years or more, people have talked about how various infrastructure in the US (like highway bridges) are slowly falling apart. People and governments constantly go "yeah, yeah, but it won't happen tomorrow, we need the money for X today; we'll take care of it next year". Of course next year never happens. Then a bridge collapses, or something similar, and suddenly everyone is in a mad rush to do something about this problem.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 10:27 PM
Are earthquakes the only disaster that is preventable through infrastructure? Or are earthquakes the only disaster you care about personally?
Geeze. thanks for reminding me why I HATE BAUT. NO, but they are fairly predictable. This one has been warned about for the last several years but everyone sat on their hands and did nothing!!

If any disaster has advance warning of several years, I think it is criminal to do nothing.

geonuc
2010-Jan-14, 10:27 PM
But with your argument, the amount spent in aid as response to this disaster would have to have gone to every part of the world that needs standard of living improvements.

Divide the aid effort by that, and how much did you really change the outcome of Haiti's earthquake?
Fazor has a point. While not all substandard housing and infrastructure lies in disaster-prone areas, a lot does. Just taking the Caribbean, if you look at the geologic links posted earlier, you'd see that most of the area is subject to large earthquakes. Toss in the frequent hurricanes and a few volcano eruptions plus the fact that most of the area is substandard and you're looking at razing and re-building much of the existing infrastructure to prevent large loss of life and money in the future.

I think the economics start to swing the other way when you consider the whole area, not just what got destroyed this time. It's regrettable that homes and buildings are not quake resistant, but the best we can do, I think, is work towards improving codes and enforcement, plus hardening vital structures such as power plants, dams, ports and such. And improving emergency response capability.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 10:28 PM
References?

You have got to be kidding!! Pick up a journal and LOOK!! There has agreement for years that this quake was about to happen!!

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 10:30 PM
Fazor has a point. While not all substandard housing and infrastructure lies in disaster-prone areas, a lot does. Just taking the Caribbean, if you look at the geologic links posted earlier, you'd see that most of the area is subject to large earthquakes. Toss in the frequent hurricanes and a few volcano eruptions plus the fact that most of the area is substandard and you're looking at razing and re-building much of the existing infrastructure to prevent large loss of life and money in the future.

I think the economics start to swing the other way when you consider the whole area, not just what got destroyed this time. It's regrettable that homes and buildings are not quake resistant, but the best we can do, I think, is work towards improving codes and enforcement, plus hardening vital structures such as power plants, dams, ports and such. And improving emergency response capability.
So you think it is more economical to dig dead people out of the rubble and fight the disease that results??

geonuc
2010-Jan-14, 10:34 PM
You have got to be kidding!! Pick up a journal and LOOK!! There has agreement for years that this quake was about to happen!!
I agree, mostly. That the Port au Prince region had a high potential for a large earthquake is not really debatable. Geologists are normally reluctant to pin such events to a certain short timeframe, however.

geonuc
2010-Jan-14, 10:35 PM
So you think it is more economical to dig dead people out of the rubble and fight the disease that results??
Did you actually read my post? Yes, I think it is cheaper to recover from this disaster than earthquake-proof the entire region.

Swift
2010-Jan-14, 10:39 PM
I'm going to put my moderator cap on for a moment. I want to prevent a disaster before it happens.

I think this thread may be getting a little too heated. A couple of the responses have been a little too emotional. And this isn't ATM and TheHalcyonYear isn't proposing some non-mainstream theory; we don't have to grill them for references.

If anyone feels they cannot for the moment calmly discuss this topic, please step away for a bit.

Thank you all for your cooperation.

Argos
2010-Jan-14, 10:41 PM
THY, Swift said it all [post #44]. I agree with you, but that´s not the way things work in the real world.

The problem of planning was up to the Haitian government. The government failed and now we have a problem to deal with.

I don´t think that the public opinion was aware of the impending disaster. The geological info was restricted to specialists and governments [if so]. I consider myself a reasonably well informed person, but I confess that this subject never appeared on my radar.

Larry Jacks
2010-Jan-14, 10:42 PM
If you were the Supreme Ruler of Haiti and someone gave you a billion dollars, would you spend it on:

1. Development projects
2. Tearing down old buildings and replacing them with new ones

If history is any guide, you'd use the money to fatten your Swiss bank accounts. When Baby Doc was deposed, he left the country a billionare. A lot of foreign aid has been sent to Haiti over the decades. A high percentage of that wasn't used to help the poor or to strengthen the infrastructure. It was used to enrich the corrupt rulers of the country. There's a word for that kind of government and it is kleptocracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleptocracy). My wife experienced it first hand living in the Philippines under the Marcos dictatorship.

In the short term (say the next 30 days), Haiti needs massive international aid to save the lives of millions of people. Haiti had precious little adequate infrastructure before the quake and much of that was destroyed. I've read the harbor is largely unusable (the cranes have reportedly toppled), the roads are blocked by debris, and there may only be a single usable runway at their airport. Even if countries rushed in a million tons of supplies, it'll accomplish nothing if you can't get aid to the people who so desperately need it. It's kind of like the aftermath to Katrina - relief supplies poured into the area but the roads were either underwater or blocked. It's hard to know where to begin.

Over the longer term, Haiti needs help to build adequate infrastructure, buildings, and jobs. It'll take billions of dollars and many years to do this. It won't be possible if the kleoptocrats use the opportunity to enrich themselves instead of helping the country. It's possible that 10 years from now, Haiti will be a much better place than it was last week, but I'm not getting my hopes too high.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 10:54 PM
Did you actually read my post? Yes, I think it is cheaper to recover from this disaster than earthquake-proof the entire region.
Then lets dispense with the crocodile tears and stunned amazement and be honest with them and ourselves. It was well documented that this was coming, but it was cheaper to help them than to do anything before the fact. But I find the wailing and bitter tears to be duplicitous.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 10:57 PM
THY, Swift said it all [post #44]. I agree with you, but that´s not the way things work in the real world.

The problem of planning was up to the Haitian government. The government failed and now we have a problem to deal with.

Then perhaps, since we have this problem to deal with, we should have been dealing with the problem that produced this problem.



I don´t think that the public opinion was aware of the impending disaster. The geological info was restricted to specialists and governments [if so]. I consider myself a reasonably well informed person, but I confess that this subject never appeared on my radar.
And that is the problem. The geological community was quite frank in its assertions that Haiti was headed for this type of event, but no one listens.

Jim
2010-Jan-14, 11:00 PM
... Even the best home designs don’t always work. Sometimes the destruction or survival of a home is just the result of chance:

Hurricane Ike damage in Texas:
http://www.greatdreams.com/weather/hurricane-ike11-gilchrist-tx.jpg

And sometimes it's design. That home was the only one in the area built to withstand a Cat 5.

Gillianren
2010-Jan-14, 11:02 PM
Geeze!! No, there are many places in the world that have low standards of living but are not in danger of a natural disaster of this sort. For example, India has many areas of low standard of living, but the are not in any immediate danger of an earthquake. Other places will some day have an earthquake, but the changes are low that it will happen any time soon.

Oh, dear. No, they're not in danger of natural disasters of that sort, but honestly, quite a lot of them are in danger of natural disasters even more predictable than earthquakes.


In contrast, it was well known that at some time in the near future, give or take 10 years, Haiti was going to have this quake. SOMETHING COULD HAVE BEEN DONE WITH THE MONEY FLOWING IN NOW since it was inevitable that the result was going to be a disaster over the short term.

Or it could have gone to Indonesia, to improve housing and tsunami warnings there. Or Bangladesh, which has flooding even more often. Or proper soil care in any number of places. All of which are also things we know about.


Edited To Add:

There is always money to throw at disasters, but there that same money is never available to prevent some of the worst consequences of a disaster that is about to happen.

Yep. And yelling at people isn't going to fix that. Being diplomatic might.


I can't say I completely understand why this is, but it is very common. For 20 years or more, people have talked about how various infrastructure in the US (like highway bridges) are slowly falling apart. People and governments constantly go "yeah, yeah, but it won't happen tomorrow, we need the money for X today; we'll take care of it next year". Of course next year never happens. Then a bridge collapses, or something similar, and suddenly everyone is in a mad rush to do something about this problem.

Back in '01, we had an earthquake, and we're going to have even worse ones coming up. The road down the hill from my house is essentially floating in places, and it was severely damaged in the Nisqually quake. The state government was given two choices--a cheaper fix which wouldn't hold up to as strong an earthquake as we're expecting or a more expensive one which probably would. So yeah, guess what's going to happen down the hill from me if we have an 8?


Geeze. thanks for reminding me why I HATE BAUT. NO, but they are fairly predictable. This one has been warned about for the last several years but everyone sat on their hands and did nothing!!

Sounds familiar. Does Hurricane Katrina ring any bells for you?


If any disaster has advance warning of several years, I think it is criminal to do nothing.

How about this? There's a stretch of land in San Francisco called the Marina District. It's fill. In '89, it was one of the areas most damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake, because that's how liquefaction works. Now, not only is the land there still pretty valuable, the lesson wasn't learned by people up here, either--here, Tacoma, and Seattle all have major areas built on mudflats, and people aren't much worried, because they aren't much paying attention.


I think the economics start to swing the other way when you consider the whole area, not just what got destroyed this time. It's regrettable that homes and buildings are not quake resistant, but the best we can do, I think, is work towards improving codes and enforcement, plus hardening vital structures such as power plants, dams, ports and such. And improving emergency response capability.

It's certainly not possible to fix all of it at once.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 11:04 PM
I agree, mostly. That the Port au Prince region had a high potential for a large earthquake is not really debatable. Geologists are normally reluctant to pin such events to a certain short timeframe, however.
No, it's more of the public being impatient. The Los Angeles area has just celebrated the "median return time" for the next Fort Tejon size earthquake in that area. While there has been a lot of work on retrofitting for earthquakes in that area, the codes are not designed for an event of that size. I have not been able to find the sigma associated with the median value, but you can be sure that everyone is going to be surprised and shocked when the event arrives.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-14, 11:08 PM
Oh, dear. No, they're not in danger of natural disasters of that sort, but honestly, quite a lot of them are in danger of natural disasters even more predictable than earthquakes.



Or it could have gone to Indonesia, to improve housing and tsunami warnings there. Or Bangladesh, which has flooding even more often. Or proper soil care in any number of places. All of which are also things we know about.



Yep. And yelling at people isn't going to fix that. Being diplomatic might.



Edit to Add:

Back in '01, we had an earthquake, and we're going to have even worse ones coming up. The road down the hill from my house is essentially floating in places, and it was severely damaged in the Nisqually quake. The state government was given two choices--a cheaper fix which wouldn't hold up to as strong an earthquake as we're expecting or a more expensive one which probably would. So yeah, guess what's going to happen down the hill from me if we have an 8?



Sounds familiar. Does Hurricane Katrina ring any bells for you?



How about this? There's a stretch of land in San Francisco called the Marina District. It's fill. In '89, it was one of the areas most damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake, because that's how liquefaction works. Now, not only is the land there still pretty valuable, the lesson wasn't learned by people up here, either--here, Tacoma, and Seattle all have major areas built on mudflats, and people aren't much worried, because they aren't much paying attention.



It's certainly not possible to fix all of it at once.
But efforts are being made in many of those places. I think there is a significant difference between "fixing some things, but not all at once", and "ignoring the issue completely."

That's exactly why I don't intent to waste time on Seattle when it gets hit. They know what to expect and don't care, why should I.


Edit to Add:

The same is true of Katrina in New Orleans and Andrew in Florida. Both were expected, both unfolded much as expected and everyone ends up "shocked" that a hurricane of expected size and power occurs about in an area is well known to be in danger of experiencing them
.

Sam5
2010-Jan-14, 11:13 PM
There's a stretch of land in San Francisco called the Marina District. It's fill. In '89, it was one of the areas most damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake, because that's how liquefaction works.





I think one of the most interesting buildings in the world is the old “Call Building” in San Francisco, constructed in 1898. It withstood the earthquake of 1906, and was burned out by the fire a couple of days later, but it survived and was remodeled in 1938 and it is still a big office building today:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Tower,_San_Francisco#Gallery

http://www.emporis.com/application/?nav=building&lng=3&id=118823

geonuc
2010-Jan-15, 12:03 AM
Then lets dispense with the crocodile tears and stunned amazement and be honest with them and ourselves. It was well documented that this was coming, but it was cheaper to help them than to do anything before the fact. But I find the wailing and bitter tears to be duplicitous.
Crocodile tears? Stunned amazement? Wailing and bitter tears?

I'm sorry, did you mean quote someone else?

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-15, 12:43 AM
Then lets dispense with the crocodile tears and stunned amazement and be honest with them and ourselves. It was well documented that this was coming, but it was cheaper to help them than to do anything before the fact. But I find the wailing and bitter tears to be duplicitous.
As one who has shed no tears and is neither amazed nor wailing, I think actually looking at the economics of disaster proofing the world vs. disaster relief, as opposed to ranting against celebrities might be the best idea.

Disasters are simultaneously sufficiently confined and simultaneously impossible to predict the specific place and time of that in many cases disaster recovery is the cheaper option, in the sense that using the money that way saves the most lives.
If you have to spend X dollars per person to reduce the death toll of a disaster to 1/10th and you'd have to spend 100X dollars per person to save 90% of the people after the disaster, then disaster relief is still the cheapest option if you'd have to spread the prevention money over more than 100 times the people because you know it will happen, but you don't know where.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 12:48 AM
Crocodile tears? Stunned amazement? Wailing and bitter tears?

I'm sorry, did you mean quote someone else?
Nope. I was replying to your post that it was cheaper to clean up. I used as a platform to tell all those who posted here about being so broken up about the situation to realize that it was well know that Haiti was headed off the cliff and not to act so broken up about it. It was an economic decision.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 12:52 AM
As one who has shed no tears and is neither amazed nor wailing, I think actually looking at the economics of disaster proofing the world vs. disaster relief, as opposed to ranting against celebrities might be the best idea.

Disasters are simultaneously sufficiently confined and simultaneously impossible to predict the specific place and time of that in many cases disaster recovery is the cheaper option, in the sense that using the money that way saves the most lives.

If you have to spend X dollars per person to reduce the death toll of a disaster to 1/10th and you'd have to spend 100X dollars per person to save 90% of the people after the disaster, then disaster relief is still the cheapest option if you'd have to spread the prevention money over more than 100 times the people because you know it will happen, but you don't know where.
Well then, as I said, lets dispense with the shock and just tell 'em if you live there it's too expensive to save your lives. Let's tell them frankly and honestly that we know they are headed off the cliff and that we will pull their lifeless bodies out of the rubble and attempt to contain the suffering afterward. But PLEASE, the outpouring of grief and sympathy is too much to stomach.

Swift
2010-Jan-15, 01:18 AM
I have no problem "stomaching" the outpouring of grief and sympathy. I think it touching. I don't disagree that there might be better ways to do it, that prevention is almost always wiser than rescue. I'm really not quite sure THY exactly what course of action you are advocating at this moment in time, given the current situation. But I'm not sure a cost-benefit analysis based on people's lives (if that is what you are saying) is the right thing to do.

Sam5
2010-Jan-15, 01:18 AM
Nope. I was replying to your post that it was cheaper to clean up. I used as a platform to tell all those who posted here about being so broken up about the situation to realize that it was well know that Haiti was headed off the cliff and not to act so broken up about it. It was an economic decision.

Why didn't you warn us about this before the earthquake?

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 01:26 AM
Why didn't you warn us about this before the earthquake?
Because no one here is in a position to have done anything about it. It was published in many authoritative journals and issued by many conferences and ignored by those who might have been in a position to do something.

Sam5
2010-Jan-15, 01:29 AM
Because no one here is in a position to have done anything about it. It was published in many authoritative journals and issued by many conferences and ignored by those who might have been in a position to do something.


Then why are you fussing at us?

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 01:43 AM
I have no problem "stomaching" the outpouring of grief and sympathy. I think it touching. I don't disagree that there might be better ways to do it, that prevention is almost always wiser than rescue. I'm really not quite sure THY exactly what course of action you are advocating at this moment in time, given the current situation. But I'm not sure a cost-benefit analysis based on people's lives (if that is what you are saying) is the right thing to do.
Nothing different; the damage is done! I am saying that the cost/benefit analysis suggests that the funds would produce "more bang for the buck" if spent before the fact. (Yes I am saying just what you think I am saying).

What disgusts me is the "shock and sympathy" that tends to be displayed by some of the people, at the same time, are not willing to do anything to prevent the bus from driving off the cliff in the first place. No I have mentioned people and I won't.

nauthiz
2010-Jan-15, 01:48 AM
If you were the Supreme Ruler of Haiti and someone gave you a billion dollars, would you spend it on:

1. Development projects
2. Tearing down old buildings and replacing them with new ones

If history is any guide, you'd use the money to fatten your Swiss bank accounts. When Baby Doc was deposed, he left the country a billionare. A lot of foreign aid has been sent to Haiti over the decades. A high percentage of that wasn't used to help the poor or to strengthen the infrastructure. It was used to enrich the corrupt rulers of the country. There's a word for that kind of government and it is kleptocracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleptocracy). My wife experienced it first hand living in the Philippines under the Marcos dictatorship.

In the short term (say the next 30 days), Haiti needs massive international aid to save the lives of millions of people. Haiti had precious little adequate infrastructure before the quake and much of that was destroyed. I've read the harbor is largely unusable (the cranes have reportedly toppled), the roads are blocked by debris, and there may only be a single usable runway at their airport. Even if countries rushed in a million tons of supplies, it'll accomplish nothing if you can't get aid to the people who so desperately need it. It's kind of like the aftermath to Katrina - relief supplies poured into the area but the roads were either underwater or blocked. It's hard to know where to begin.

Over the longer term, Haiti needs help to build adequate infrastructure, buildings, and jobs. It'll take billions of dollars and many years to do this. It won't be possible if the kleoptocrats use the opportunity to enrich themselves instead of helping the country. It's possible that 10 years from now, Haiti will be a much better place than it was last week, but I'm not getting my hopes too high.

Believe me, I realize the score for Haiti. What I was meaning to call attention to is, if we assume for the moment that Haiti had sufficient money to harden its major population centers against earthquakes, that doesn't necessarily mean that they would have been hardened against earthquakes. It's a country that has more than its fair share of pressing needs, so a reasonable person who doesn't know exactly what the future holds could have quite defensibly chosen to spend it on something else. After all wasn't any guarantee that it would have hit a major population center - only about half of the fault zone in question lies within Haiti's borders. Other problems, on the other hand, were known certainties by virtue of the fact that they were already happening.

Throw politics on top of that - anything that involves mass evictions so buildings can be overhauled seems rather unrealistc. Even if the leaders would actually want to try it, it's doubtful that they could pull it off. This is a society that has a pretty well-established history of not being terribly patient with its government in many respects. (With one exception, their elected heads of state have never managed to stay in office for an entire term.) I doubt M. Preval was too keen on leaving office under similar circumstances to those of his predecessor's departure.

Throw the fact that it's quite possibly the most corrupt country in the world (certainly the western hemisphere) on top of that, and I'd suggest that the idea that this is something that could have been prevented if rich countries had only sent more money starts to look like a fantasy.

And I say that as someone who's devoted the majority of his philanthropic contributions to Haiti for years, not as someone who is shedding crocodile tears.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 02:03 AM
Then why are you fussing at us?
Actually most of the issues discussed here can't be affected by those who participate in the discussion. However, I find this thread rather personally repellent because some people seem to think that it's cheaper to just sit on their hands and wait to clean up the mess and the corpses after the fact. A

Personally I'm about to walk away from this thread because the closed minds make discussion rather unproductive.


References...... :rolleyes:

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 02:07 AM
Believe me, I realize the score for Haiti. What I was meaning to call attention to is, if we assume for the moment that Haiti had sufficient money to harden its major population centers against earthquakes, that doesn't necessarily mean that they would have been hardened against earthquakes. It's a country that has more than its fair share of pressing needs, so a reasonable person who doesn't know exactly what the future holds could have quite defensibly chosen to spend it on something else. After all wasn't any guarantee that it would have hit a major population center - only about half of the fault zone in question lies within Haiti's borders. Other problems, on the other hand, were known certainties by virtue of the fact that they were already happening.

Throw politics on top of that - anything that involves mass evictions so buildings can be overhauled seems rather unrealistc. Even if the leaders would actually want to try it, it's doubtful that they could pull it off. This is a society that has a pretty well-established history of not being terribly patient with its government in many respects. (With one exception, their elected heads of state have never managed to stay in office for an entire term.) I doubt M. Preval was too keen on leaving office under similar circumstances to those of his predecessor's departure.

Throw the fact that it's quite possibly the most corrupt country in the world (certainly the western hemisphere) on top of that, and I'd suggest that the idea that this is something that could have been prevented if rich countries had only sent more money starts to look like a fantasy.

And I say that as someone who's devoted the majority of his philanthropic contributions to Haiti for years, not as someone who is shedding crocodile tears.
Ya gotta love it. So it is possible to get disaster relief to people there after the fact, but impossible hardening of the infrastructure if their society ahead of time.

Jens
2010-Jan-15, 02:07 AM
Geeze!! No, there are many places in the world that have low standards of living but are not in danger of a natural disaster of this sort. For example, India has many areas of low standard of living, but the are not in any immediate danger of an earthquake.

Really? You might want to take a look at this (http://cires.colorado.edu/~bilham/Erice.htm). Both India and China, the most populated countries in the world, experience earthquake disasters. You know, I totally agree that prevention would be ideal, but it's just such an incredible amount of money that would be needed that I doubt it's feasible.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 02:20 AM
Really? You might want to take a look at this (http://cires.colorado.edu/~bilham/Erice.htm). Both India and China, the most populated countries in the world, experience earthquake disasters. You know, I totally agree that prevention would be ideal, but it's just such an incredible amount of money that would be needed that I doubt it's feasible.
It's a different situation there completely.

Our current understanding of Himalayan earthquakes is such that we may calculate potential slip in several segments of the plate boundary, but we cannot estimate the timing of future events. Making assumptions about the probable completeness of the historic seismic record we can estimate relative seismic hazard, or we can estimate minimum slip potential based on the time since the last known earthquake (Bilham et al., 2001). This has moderate relevance to planning for future earthquakes. The eventual establishment of recurrence intervals for Himalayan ruptures will require a combination of serendipitous historical studies and geological trench investigations of faulting and earthquake-induced liquefaction features.
In other words, there is not enough data available to determine when the next quake might occur. It might be tomorrow or hundreds to thousands of years from now. In Haiti, it was well known that the next quake was upon us.

nauthiz
2010-Jan-15, 02:23 AM
Ya gotta love it. So it is possible to get disaster relief to people there after the fact, but impossible hardening of the infrastructure if their society ahead of time.

I'm saying much more than that. That's part of it. Like I said in the post, there is a certain amount of cold, hard reality that makes one option more feasible than the other.

But I'm also saying that for anybody who doesn't have a crystal ball, hardening P-a-P against earthquakes probably would not have been the best thing to do with any available resources anyway:

1. Earthquakes are unpredictable and you can't really be sure what the benefit will be ahead of time.
2. In a country where the population's average age is less than 21, there are other things to do that one can know ahead of time will confer a massive benefit.

If you really want to pick something uppity about, don't get uppity that P-a-P's building codes weren't up to San Francisco standards. Get uppity about the fact that as soon as this blows out of the news the money will probably dry up because natural disasters draw more attention than people quietly starving to death.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 02:27 AM
I'm saying much more than that. That's part of it. Like I said in the post, there is a certain amount of cold, hard reality that makes one option more feasible than the other.

But I'm also saying that for anybody who doesn't have a crystal ball, hardening P-a-P against earthquakes probably would not have been the best thing to do with any available resources anyway:

1. Earthquakes are unpredictable and you can't really be sure what the benefit will be ahead of time.
2. In a country where the population's average age is less than 21, there are other things to do that one can know ahead of time will confer a massive benefit.

If you really want to pick something uppity about, don't get uppity that P-a-P's building codes weren't up to San Francisco standards. Get uppity about the fact that as soon as this blows out of the news the money will probably dry up because natural disasters draw more attention than people quietly starving to death.
What was I thinking when I came back here. I have not called anyone names for the views that they express here and I expect to be afforded the same rules in return.

What a duplicitous bunch.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-15, 02:30 AM
Personally I'm about to walk away from this thread because the closed minds make discussion rather unproductive.

Indeed.

Jens
2010-Jan-15, 02:32 AM
Actually most of the issues discussed here can't be affected by those who participate in the discussion. However, I find this thread rather personally repellent because some people seem to think that it's cheaper to just sit on their hands and wait to clean up the mess and the corpses after the fact.

And just to be clear, I'm not advocating doing nothing. I did point out that the solutions may not be easy, but it's certainly worth doing something. If you care about this issue, maybe this (http://www.abc.net.au/ra/innovations/stories/s1473553.htm)would interest you. You probably know that mud houses are very vulnerable to earthquakes, and it turns out (I didn't know it was so high) that a third of the world's population lives in such homes. Obviously, replacing all of these with wooden or steel reinforced homes would be incredibly expensive, not to mention ecologically a disaster. But the article shows there are people trying to work on technologically feasible low-tech solutions.

SeanF
2010-Jan-15, 02:38 AM
I have not called anyone names for the views that they express here and I expect to be afforded the same rules in return.
I haven't posted in this thread yet, but I've got to say - if you think your posts here have not been insulting to and dismissive of the other posters, you ought to go back and reread what you've written.

Gillianren
2010-Jan-15, 02:54 AM
Ya gotta love it. So it is possible to get disaster relief to people there after the fact, but impossible hardening of the infrastructure if their society ahead of time.

Honestly? Pretty much, yeah. Heartbreaking but true. Even after a disaster, there is opportunism, but people care more, so it doesn't get as strong a foothold. What's more, these people have already lost their homes, so you don't have the resistance you would to kicking them out--and people will resist, even if you promise them better ones. For one, where would they all live?

And, again, what have you done to help infrastructure in Haiti? And why Haiti and not the cheaper solution toward saving lives of getting proper tsunami warning systems in place in the Indian Ocean?

nauthiz
2010-Jan-15, 02:58 AM
And why haven't we started an initiative to pre-emptively rebuild Kingston yet? It's on the same fault line as Port-au-Prince.

sarongsong
2010-Jan-15, 03:00 AM
Meanwhile:
January 14, 2010
...The Haitian Red Cross estimates the number of deaths at between 45,000 and 50,000...only three public hospitals are functioning because most had collapsed or were severely damaged. Only one private hospital was taking patients...
miamiherald.com (http://www.miamiherald.com/1630/story/1425787.html?asset_id=1424573&asset_type=gallery)
Brazil Raises Soldier Death Toll In Haiti Quake To 14 (http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100114-704766.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesAmericas)

US investigates three potential US deaths in Haiti‎ (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60C6EK20100113)

jokergirl
2010-Jan-15, 08:48 AM
Oh, if any of you are HAM radio operators (and I bet some of you are), please pass this on:

http://community.livejournal.com/crisis_911/791.html

IRESC radio frequencies - since so many normal channels are destroyed, there is a bunch of coordination and rescue operation going on via HAM radio.

captain swoop
2010-Jan-15, 09:03 AM
OK if anyone has a problem with anything posted then REPORT IT. Do not start complaining in the thread. I am close to handing out infractions in here.
Cool it folks . ANy more and this is so locked.

Argos
2010-Jan-15, 12:22 PM
Yes, I´m shocked [and sympathetic towards them] after seeing the CNN coverage last night. Bodies scrambled all around, the screams of trapped people. A drama unfolding before our very eyes. I´ve never felt so touched by a disaster as I am right now. The horror, the horror...

Taeolas
2010-Jan-15, 01:21 PM
One of the mounties who was down there to train police officers, was found dead. (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2010/01/14/ns-mountie-dead.html) (A second RCMP officer is still missing and presumed dead).

His wife spoke to him about half an hour before the quake; he had just returned to the country from a Christmas break at home and was going to his apartment to rest up before starting work. His wife is the superintendent of the school district my mom teaches in.

Larry Jacks
2010-Jan-15, 01:59 PM
Ya gotta love it. So it is possible to get disaster relief to people there after the fact, but impossible hardening of the infrastructure if their society ahead of time.


Even if the government of Haiti was the most honest in the world (and they're actually near the opposite extreme), they may have made a reasoned decision to apply their limited resources to more immediate needs that strengthening their buildings against earthquakes. First of all, how strong of an earthquake do you design against? The stronger the design point, the more expensive the costs. If they'd picked a design point below the 7.0 that actually happened, it might've been for nothing.

We can argue that they should've done this or they should've done that but it's pointless. Shoulda, woulda, coulda, they sad fact is they didn't. Now we're faced with a humanitarian crisis in the poorest country in the western hemisphere, a crisis whose death toll may exceed the Boxing Day Tsunami from a few years ago but in a more concentrated area. The only question that matters now is what can we do about it? All else is handwaving and posturing that amounts to nothing but noise.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 10:39 PM
And why haven't we started an initiative to pre-emptively rebuild Kingston yet? It's on the same fault line as Port-au-Prince.
Because there no evidence that the fault is locked there. Astronomers that want to discuss geological matters should educate themselves.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 10:40 PM
Yes, I´m shocked [and sympathetic towards them] after seeing the CNN coverage last night. Bodies scrambled all around, the screams of trapped people. A drama unfolding before our very eyes. I´ve never felt so touched by a disaster as I am right now. The horror, the horror...
Touching. Where was all that a year ago, when something might have been done to prevent it?

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 10:45 PM
And, again, what have you done to help infrastructure in Haiti?

More than you might know.



And why Haiti and not the cheaper solution toward saving lives of getting proper tsunami warning systems in place in the Indian Ocean?

There is a tsunami warning system in place in the pacific. But only AFTER a very large tsunami struck. That's another interesting thing. The geologic and archeological record show that a number of civilizations were probably wiped out by just such occurrences. Unfortunately, even though the forces built up to the point where that was a well known danger, no one did anything until it was over.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-15, 11:13 PM
Didn't you leave this thread?

chrissy
2010-Jan-15, 11:19 PM
Touching. Where was all that a year ago, when something might have been done to prevent it?

This is Argos' fault how? Your snarky comments towards others who are showing sympathy towards what is happening in Haiti is not warrented nor will it be tolerated.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 11:25 PM
This is Argos' fault how? Your snarky comments towards others who are showing sympathy towards what is happening in Haiti is not warrented nor will it be tolerated.
Oh Come on!! I have been hammered by people here who don't want to invest any money before the fact but want to wail about the misery that has resulted by doing nothing. If Argos wants to step in and respond to one of my posts on that subject, I am going to respond.

I don't appreciate my comments being described as "snarky"!! I believe that I have been very measured in my responses here.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Jan-15, 11:30 PM
Didn't you leave this thread?
Yeah, I thank you for pointing that out!!

And while no one seems to have a a problem with someone calling me uppity, I have just been hit with a warning for a legitimate response to Argos!!

It was a mistake for me to return to such a hypocritical group of people as this. I won't make the mistake again.

chrissy
2010-Jan-15, 11:40 PM
If you have a problem with my post please feel free to report it, there is a little red triangle, but do not start complaining here.

As for people helping how do you know what we here have donated? Don't stand on your soap box saying we are wailing but not lifting a finger.

Gillianren
2010-Jan-16, 03:16 AM
More than you might know.

How do you know what any of us may or may not have done?


There is a tsunami warning system in place in the pacific. But only AFTER a very large tsunami struck. That's another interesting thing. The geologic and archeological record show that a number of civilizations were probably wiped out by just such occurrences. Unfortunately, even though the forces built up to the point where that was a well known danger, no one did anything until it was over.

Wrong on at least two counts. Number one, the tsunami in Indonesia was in the Indian Ocean; there already was a tsunami warning system set up in the Pacific before. Yes, it was after a large tsunami, but when in human history isn't? Not to mention that a lot of people have been doing things, or trying to do things, or what have you. Lots of small things which most people don't notice. Yeah, more may be done now, but that doesn't mean nothing was done before.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-16, 03:30 AM
Oh Come on!! I have been hammered by people here who don't want to invest any money before the fact but want to wail about the misery that has resulted by doing nothing.
So if I don't think that it's realistic to prevent every disaster, or in fact that I can go into Haiti and change their minds about how to spend money, I can't feel sympathy for other people?

How weird.

geonuc
2010-Jan-16, 11:37 AM
I'll dispute the notion that the earthquake was predicted to any great degree of short-term certainty. Geologists don't like to do that. Plus, the nature of the stress relief has it's own variability. The fault, in this area, can let loose in a Big One, or in a series of smaller movements.

So, the world aid agencies could have fortified Port-au-Prince against this disaster to some degree, only to find a city-destroying earthquake doesn't occur for decades. Meanwhile, numerous hurricanes will have wreaked destruction on the islands, in Central America and elsewhere. Numerous earthquakes will have devastated cities across the globe and many, many people across the world will have died of disease and starvation due to a lack of aid money. But Port-au-Prince will be safe, at least from a local strong earthquake. We'd just have to hope the next one isn't a 7.5 that would overpower the structural improvements. Predictions on the expected intensity of any large earthquakes are kinda iffy, too.

I'm not an astronomer, by the way.

cosmocrazy
2010-Jan-16, 11:56 AM
Arguing over what could have been and should have been done is not going to help those in need right now. I think its good to see other nations pulling together to help out , trying to ease the suffering and showing compassion for all those losses of life. I can't even begin to imagine the pain, suffering, torment and heart ache these people must be going through.

Its time to focus on the here and now of the situation. Then maybe something can be learned and implementation for preparation and limited destruction caused by future disasters can be made, once all that can be done and has been done for the people right now.

Argos
2010-Jan-16, 12:49 PM
Yes, I´m shocked [and sympathetic towards them] after seeing the CNN coverage last night. Bodies scrambled all around, the screams of trapped people. A drama unfolding before our very eyes. I´ve never felt so touched by a disaster as I am right now. The horror, the horror...


Touching. Where was all that a year ago, when something might have been done to prevent it?

Well, remember that substantial international aid has been flowing to Haiti for quite a while. Also, Haiti is probably the country with the greatest number of NGO´s per square kilometer. So, something was being done previous to the catastrophe. Again, the ultimate responsibility rested upon the Haiti´s government, which failed.

Mine are not crocodile tears. I´m sincerely touched by the tragedy. Brazil has been very involved with Haiti in the latest years, leading the MINUSTAH [and doing a decent job]. Progress was being made. Many fellow countrymen died in the tragedy, including a prominent VIP. As I said before, it´s not the right time to attribute guilt. Lets face reality and deal with the problem. And weep.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-16, 02:00 PM
TheHalcyonYear has left this thread, again, so I don't think she'll see your post, Argos.

Sam5
2010-Jan-16, 04:08 PM
I'll dispute the notion that the earthquake was predicted to any great degree of short-term certainty.


I lived in California for about 10 years, and I felt small earthquakes in San Francisco several times. Every time there was a quake in California, some scientist, professor, or geologist would call the press and announce that he had “predicted” it. It would generally be a different person each time.

I gradually learned that at any time, in fact all the time, there are scientists, professors, and geologists who have perpetual active in-effect “predictions” in the works and on the record somewhere, so that no place in the world and no time during any year is there any fault-line not being covered by someone’s “prediction”. Thus, every fault-line in the world is always covered by “predictions” about how “the big one” can strike "at any time” and is “long over-due”.

The safest way to make a “prediction” is to NOT give any specific dates, but to just say that such and such a place is “long over-due” for “the big one”. And, sooner or later, a “big one” hits, someplace, and that someplace is always well-covered by active ongoing “predictions”. That’s the way the game is played.

The scientist, professor, or geologist whose most recent “prediction” just happens to be the closest to the date of the next earthquake (somewhere in the world) “wins” the game and gets the next flurry of media attention, and usually a raise in salary, and lots of reports in the media about how “smart” he is.

Buttercup
2010-Jan-16, 05:08 PM
Of course there is the immense sadness I feel for the victims. :cry:

And anger that the Haitian government does not require better building materials/inspections, and sounder structures. I know it's a poor nation, but this is OUTRAGEOUS. :mad:

I suppose poor private homes would have taken a hit regardless. :cry: But when you've got the ENTIRE CAPITOL in shambles too?? :mad:

It needn't have been THIS bad!! But the Haitian "officials" can count on richer nations picking up the mess THEY helped to create. :mad:

Again: My deepest sympathies and sorrow for the "everyday poor people" there who are suffering so much, thanks in great part to their "government."

mike alexander
2010-Jan-16, 08:29 PM
I lived in California for about 10 years, and I felt small earthquakes in San Francisco several times. Every time there was a quake in California, some scientist, professor, or geologist would call the press and announce that he had “predicted” it. It would generally be a different person each time.

I gradually learned that at any time, in fact all the time, there are scientists, professors, and geologists who have perpetual active in-effect “predictions” in the works and on the record somewhere, so that no place in the world and no time during any year is there any fault-line not being covered by someone’s “prediction”. Thus, every fault-line in the world is always covered by “predictions” about how “the big one” can strike "at any time” and is “long over-due”.

The safest way to make a “prediction” is to NOT give any specific dates, but to just say that such and such a place is “long over-due” for “the big one”. And, sooner or later, a “big one” hits, someplace, and that someplace is always well-covered by active ongoing “predictions”. That’s the way the game is played.

The scientist, professor, or geologist whose most recent “prediction” just happens to be the closest to the date of the next earthquake (somewhere in the world) “wins” the game and gets the next flurry of media attention, and usually a raise in salary, and lots of reports in the media about how “smart” he is.

Good summary, Sam. Akin to stock touts who claim their predictions for the market bore out when others didn't.

They used to put fortunetellers to death. Probably not a bad idea.

nauthiz
2010-Jan-16, 08:54 PM
And anger that the Haitian government does not require better building materials/inspections, and sounder structures. I know it's a poor nation, but this is OUTRAGEOUS. :mad:

It's not just that it's poor, it's that it's a poor nation whose government cannot realistically be expected to be particularly effective on that front. They've only had a regular head of state for 4 years, following 2 years with an interim leader that came on the heels of a popular revolution 6 years ago. a decade before that they were being run by a military junta that had taken over in a coup d'etat. A few years before that the country's first attempt at a general election following the departure of Baby Doc had to be canceled due to a widespread campaign of intimidation and massacre on the part of the military and remnants of the Duvaliers' secret police.

All in all, the past 25 years of the country's history have been a constant stream of rather spectacularly failed attempts to establish any sort of stable and effective government. . . is it really surprising that they haven't gotten around to establishing solid building codes?

Gillianren
2010-Jan-16, 09:46 PM
Good summary, Sam. Akin to stock touts who claim their predictions for the market bore out when others didn't.

Except for the fact that most geologists are just quietly working away, and the only seismologist whose name I know seldom actually makes predictions. She just gives the data after the fact. I mean, she does say, "There is X% chance of an earthquake of Y magnitude within Z timespan," but those are accepted numbers within the geological community, not just stuff she's pulling out of the air to make herself look better.

geonuc
2010-Jan-17, 10:42 AM
Except for the fact that most geologists are just quietly working away, and the only seismologist whose name I know seldom actually makes predictions. She just gives the data after the fact. I mean, she does say, "There is X% chance of an earthquake of Y magnitude within Z timespan," but those are accepted numbers within the geological community, not just stuff she's pulling out of the air to make herself look better.
Kate Hutton?

Gillianren
2010-Jan-17, 07:54 PM
But of course! I grew up not far from CalTech, after all.

djinn
2010-Jan-17, 11:43 PM
And anger that the Haitian government does not require better building materials/inspections, and sounder structures. I know it's a poor nation, but this is OUTRAGEOUS. :mad:


It needn't have been THIS bad!! But the Haitian "officials" can count on richer nations picking up the mess THEY helped to create. :mad:

Again: My deepest sympathies and sorrow for the "everyday poor people" there who are suffering so much, thanks in great part to their "government."

If I replied to Buttercup and attempted to explain why Haitian governance was as it was prior to last week's quake, it would break BAUT's "no politics" rules*, so may I suggest that, instead of, as it seems, simply believing that the situation is all the fault of the Haitians, she reads something of the recent history of Haiti?
Even the Wikipedia (generally politically facile) entry on Haiti has some of the answers (Cold War, Western support for Papa Doc post Cuban revolution, exodus of virtually all professionals etc).

* Of course, her statements are political too.

EDIT 18/01/2010 - this piece gives some of the background (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/14/haiti-history-earthquake-disaster)

swampyankee
2010-Jan-18, 04:54 PM
Leaving the dead aside -- their suffering is over -- the people of Haiti have been the victims of an incompetent system of government for decades, sometimes an incompetent government put there by foreign governments. Even if the current government was completely honest and perfectly competent, features that absolutely no human government can have, it didn't have the time or the resources to fix those decades of national neglect.

Sam5
2010-Jan-18, 06:53 PM
This has been a remarkable event, with more live on-the-scene news coverage than any other major disaster I’ve ever seen (other than the US Katrina coverage).

One TV network just showed a video taken inside a house, of the quake starting and ending, and it seemed to last only about 15 seconds.

Apparently, the lack of re-enforcing bars (rebars) in the walls and ceilings of the buildings was what allowed them to break apart so easily and quickly.

Here is a Haiti travel documentary from 1942, which points out that most of the buildings in Port au Prince were not more than one or two stories tall, back in those days. This film also shows the famous Presidential Palace which collapsed during this recent earthquake:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqox80PvGfQ&
(Warning: Contains some political opinions and commentary.)

Here is Haiti in the ‘40s and ‘50s, with a modern French-language narration (I have no idea what the narrator is saying):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRVPoxDgbBo&feature=related

Looks to me like there has been a big “population explosion” in Port au Prince since these films were made.

One of the best things I’ve seen so far is the new method of “instant” text-message donations to different aid groups, including humanitarian groups and missions that were already on the ground and working in Haiti before the earthquake.

Also, the US CNN channel has been very good at continuous coverage, and their website contains a lot of information about missing and found people, along with information about how to make immediate donations.
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2010/haiti.quake/?hpt=T1

I think we should all try to keep a grip on our emotions, which is not easy, and try to stay calm and avoid political discussions.

What I think we can do is pass along information about how to help, and how to make donations to the groups that are already on-scene and working in Haiti.

danscope
2010-Jan-18, 07:43 PM
[QUOTE=Larry Jacks;1661057]Ya gotta love it. So it is possible to get disaster relief to people there after the fact, but impossible hardening of the infrastructure if their society ahead of time.


Even if the government of Haiti was the most honest in the world (and they're actually near the opposite extreme), they may have made a reasoned decision to apply their limited resources to more immediate needs that strengthening their buildings against earthquakes. First of all, how strong of an earthquake do you design against? The stronger the design point, the more expensive the costs. If they'd picked a design point below the 7.0 that actually happened, it might've been for nothing.

Hi Larry, As I understand it, they have a very poor agregate to employ in the compromised concrete they use for buildings there. Is that right?
They might do well to 'not' build multi story buildings to begin with.
They also have to deal with cat4 hurricanes as well. Tin roofs and cardboard
don't make sense somehow. It's hard to see how they will do better in the future.

Best regards,
Dan

Swift
2010-Jan-18, 09:16 PM
Looks to me like there has been a big “population explosion” in Port au Prince since these films were made.

I recall hearing in several news reports that about half the population is under 20 years old, so that would be consistent with that.

djinn
2010-Jan-19, 11:39 AM
I recall hearing in several news reports that about half the population is under 20 years old, so that would be consistent with that.

The poor and uneducated always have higher birth rates, and life expectancy is lower. Bingo! - a young, unproductive, population.

One of the main reasons why the population of Port au Prince itself has increased so much is that there is 98% deforestation in Haiti. This is mostly because a) there is very little employment other than subsistence farming and so people clear every square foot of land, and b) poor people have to cut down trees to get fuel for cooking and heating.
This means the soil is eroding very quickly, subsistence farming becomes less and less productive, and fuel becomes unavailable. So, in desperation, they head for the capital.

The vicious, almost unbreakable, circle of poverty.

For purely selfish reasons we in developed countries need to do something to change this, or the consequent environmental destruction will leave us with a planet that none of us will be able to inhabit.

PS Here's a shocking photo (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/15/forces-working-against-haiti) of the deforestation - Haiti on the left, The Dominican Republic on the right.

Argos
2010-Jan-19, 12:55 PM
This is mostly because a) there is very little employment other than subsistence farming and so people clear every square foot of land, and b) poor people have to cut down trees to get fuel for cooking and heating.


The story I´ve heard accounts that Haitian rulers ordered the deforestation to prevent rebel groups from hiding.

Larry Jacks
2010-Jan-19, 02:07 PM
Hi Larry, As I understand it, they have a very poor agregate to employ in the compromised concrete they use for buildings there. Is that right?
They might do well to 'not' build multi story buildings to begin with.
They also have to deal with cat4 hurricanes as well. Tin roofs and cardboard
don't make sense somehow. It's hard to see how they will do better in the future.

I don't know about the first question. I do know that concrete is very strong in compression but has very poor strength in sheer or tension. An earthquake puts a lot of sheer force on walls. Without rebar, concrete will crumble under those conditions. We've seen the same thing in earthquakes in other parts of the world.

I heard one interesting tidbit last week - many of the poorest Haitians lived in little more than lean-tos and huts, especially after the hurricane that struck Haiti not too long ago. They reportedly faired better than the relatively wealthier Haitians who lived in concrete buildings. It seems in Haiti that misery strikes the poor and wealthy fairly equally.

As for tin roofs and cardboard, that's the best many people can afford. Sure, it is easily destroyed but also easily rebuilt. Years ago, I read that the ancient Japanese built their homes out of relatively flimsy materials for the same reason - a fire or earthquake will destroy your home anyway so it may make sense to build homes that are easy to replace.

NorthernBoy
2010-Jan-19, 02:43 PM
Yeah, I thank you for pointing that out!!

And while no one seems to have a a problem with someone calling me uppity, I have just been hit with a warning for a legitimate response to Argos!!

It was a mistake for me to return to such a hypocritical group of people as this. I won't make the mistake again.

Good, your insulting posts have been pretty distasteful, especially those mocking people who have expressed sympathy for the people suffering in Haiti.

Please, be a man of your word this time and stay out.

Swift
2010-Jan-19, 04:17 PM
If you have a problem with my post please feel free to report it, there is a little red triangle, but do not start complaining here.

I'll repeat what chrissy said, and remind people to stow the anger and keep the discussion on the topic at hand.

Swift
2010-Jan-19, 04:18 PM
PS Here's a shocking photo (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/15/forces-working-against-haiti) of the deforestation - Haiti on the left, The Dominican Republic on the right.
Amazing photo djinn.

Buttercup
2010-Jan-19, 04:33 PM
I saw Larry King's two-hour special last night. Red Cross and Unicef were primary featured charities. In that two hours' time the show raised $5 million for Haiti! :)

geonuc
2010-Jan-19, 04:52 PM
Amazing photo djinn.
And the article is quite informative. I noticed the author: Jared Diamond

Lianachan
2010-Jan-19, 05:02 PM
News story (http://news.scotsman.com/news/Marines-land-in-Haiti-but.5992545.jp) from over here about some international criticism of the US response.

Larry Jacks
2010-Jan-19, 05:23 PM
The US said the 2,200 marines, with medical aid, helicopters and equipment to clear debris, would join 5,000 US troops already in the region to help international aid efforts, which have been hampered by Haiti's ruined infrastructure.

But after US forces turned away a plane-load of medical supplies, a French minister accused the Americans of "occupying" the country.

The US reinforcements are likely to be joined by a bolstered UN force after secretary-general Ban Ki-moon recommended the Security Council send a further 1,500 police and 2,000 troops. Mr Ban, who saw the devastation for himself during a six-hour visit to the capital on Sunday, said action was urgently required to stem mounting disquiet among the population. "When their patience level becomes thinner – that is when we have to be concerned," he warned.

According to Aviation Week, the airport at Haiti only has a single runway and a tarmac large enough to park 16 airplanes. Military transports like the C-130 are perfectly fine being parked on grass or dirt but most modern airliners have too heavy a footprint and would get stuck unless parked on concrete. That fact puts a premium on tarmac space, which brings up a second issue: VIPs. Bill Clinton arrived in Haiti on a Boeing 757. Hillary Clinton also spent some time there, as did the Ban Ki-moon of the UN. While those and other VIP planes were parked on the tarmac, planes carrying relief supplies had no place to unload. A simple way to reduce this constraint would be to require that any VIPs going to Haiti ride in on a transport plane carrying relief supplies. Their visit would have to be limited to at most a few hours to free up tarmac space.

Haiti needs just about everything but it doesn't necessarily need everything at the same time. Medical supplies are vitally important but of not much use unless you can get them to where they're needed. Security is important and that's the biggest function of the Marines. Fear caused by a lack of security is what caused a Belgian medical team to abandon a makeshift hospital full of patients to the care of a CNN news team (including Dr. Gupta who works for CNN) and a few others.

Gillianren
2010-Jan-19, 05:36 PM
I don't know about the first question. I do know that concrete is very strong in compression but has very poor strength in sheer or tension. An earthquake puts a lot of sheer force on walls. Without rebar, concrete will crumble under those conditions. We've seen the same thing in earthquakes in other parts of the world.

It's why I have a very different view of "safe" construction than a friend of mine who lived in Maine. He finds brick reassuring; I spend all my time wondering if it's reinforced or not. It's also one of the reasons the library building over at Evergreen was completely remodeled a few years back.


Their visit would have to be limited to at most a few hours to free up tarmac space.

Not necessarily; they could just be forced to take a later flight home.

Paracelsus
2010-Jan-19, 06:33 PM
And the article is quite informative. I noticed the author: Jared Diamond

My favorite author. He wrote quite a bit about Haiti in Collapse. You know, WRT helping Haiti, it's bloody hard to know where to start because these poor people have always been, and are still, beset by so many critical issues at once: food scarcity, ecological devastation, disease (including a nasty AIDS epidemic on the island), crime, hurricanes, crushing foreign debt, crushing poverty, political instability...the list goes on. Now earthquakes are added to the mix.

This has been said earlier in this thread, but I'll reiterate: there are so many critical problems that are long-standing in Haiti that preparing for a hypothetical 'big one' would not be high on any NGO or govt's list. When the majority of a population are dirt-poor, diseased, starving, hurricane-battered, uneducated and unskilled, exploited, and desperate, preparing for a natural disaster that hasn't happened yet, no matter how high the likelihood that it will happen in the future, is understandably low on the list of priorities. In an ideal world, modernizing housing in Haiti would be high on the list. Unfortunately, the most quake-proof housing in the world won't help if the population is too poor to afford to live in the renovated houses or doesn't have food, potable drinking water, or security.

Sam5
2010-Jan-19, 07:05 PM
.....US response.



This website should cheer you up:

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0110_haiti/

Sam5
2010-Jan-19, 07:09 PM
This has been said earlier in this thread, but I'll reiterate: there are so many critical problems that are long-standing in Haiti that preparing for a hypothetical 'big one' would not be high on any NGO or govt's list. When the majority of a population are dirt-poor, diseased, starving, hurricane-battered, uneducated and unskilled, exploited, and desperate, preparing for a natural disaster that hasn't happened yet, no matter how high the likelihood that it will happen in the future, is understandably low on the list of priorities.




I wonder if their French language is part of the problem, in an area of the world where most islanders speak mainly Spanish?

I’ve worked with Central American medical missions that provide doctors to remote villages on a regular basis, and I learned that if one country has some kind of disaster or economic problem, the Spanish-speaking poor people can literally walk over to another country and blend right in, especially since the poor have no identities, no passports, and no national ID cards. The local Spanish language in most of the Central American countries is basically the same.

But I would think that poor Haitians could not easily walk across the border to the Dominican Republic to live, since the DR is a Spanish speaking country.

Lianachan
2010-Jan-19, 07:35 PM
This website should cheer you up:

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0110_haiti/

Don't need cheering up, thanks. Just linked to the story, in case it would be of interest.

djinn
2010-Jan-19, 07:42 PM
The story I´ve heard accounts that Haitian rulers ordered the deforestation to prevent rebel groups from hiding.

The extracts* from Jared Diamond's book "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed " that accompanies the photo include this ~
French ships that brought slaves to Haiti returned to Europe with cargos of Haitian timber, so that Haiti's lowlands and mid-mountain slopes had been largely stripped of timber by the mid-19th century.
and ~
Finally, Haiti's problems of deforestation and poverty have become compounded within the last 40 years. The Dominican Republic retained much forest cover and began to industrialise. It launched a crash programme to spare forest use for fuel by instead importing propane and liquefied natural gas. But Haiti's poverty forced its people to remain dependent on forest-derived charcoal from fuel, thereby accelerating the destruction of its last remaining forests.

* Not wanting to get too politcal** I tried to post just the photo (which I had downloaded). I couldn't find out how to do that, so I had to link to the article. I'm sure I used to be able to paste photos without them being on the internet. Can someone remind me how to do it (thanks), or am I misremembering, or have have things changed on BAUT?

** Although I see that people are now explicitly discussing politics ("US accused of occupying Haiti" etc) :lol:

danscope
2010-Jan-19, 08:51 PM
I don't know about the first question. I do know that concrete is very strong in compression but has very poor strength in sheer or tension. An earthquake puts a lot of sheer force on walls. Without rebar, concrete will crumble under those conditions. We've seen the same thing in earthquakes in other parts of the world.

I heard one interesting tidbit last week - many of the poorest Haitians lived in little more than lean-tos and huts, especially after the hurricane that struck Haiti not too long ago. They reportedly faired better than the relatively wealthier Haitians who lived in concrete buildings. It seems in Haiti that misery strikes the poor and wealthy fairly equally.

As for tin roofs and cardboard, that's the best many people can afford. Sure, it is easily destroyed but also easily rebuilt. Years ago, I read that the ancient Japanese built their homes out of relatively flimsy materials for the same reason - a fire or earthquake will destroy your home anyway so it may make sense to build homes that are easy to replace.[/QUOTE]

*******************
Hi Larry, Thanks for the reply. You made some interesting points.
I was thinking about bamboo geodesic structures. Something they could grow, something sustainable, and simple enough to teach them.
Just a thought. And it gets the weight down. Maybe stamped galvy connectors? Hmmm....
Best regards,
Dan

chrissy
2010-Jan-19, 10:26 PM
Please be careful not to get political when you are posting, this goes for others who think they can slip one in without been seen.

djinn To upload a picture you click "post reply" and when the little icons pop up there is a paper clip icon "attach" click it and then "browse".

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-19, 10:37 PM
Hi Larry, Thanks for the reply. You made some interesting points.
I was thinking about bamboo geodesic structures. Something they could grow, something sustainable, and simple enough to teach them.
Just a thought. And it gets the weight down. Maybe stamped galvy connectors? Hmmm....
Best regards,
Dan
And in the first cat 1 hurricane it'll be gone.

These people live under the constant thread of multiple types of disaster, trying to solve for only one of then will be almost as bad as ignoring all of them.

Jim
2010-Jan-20, 03:52 AM
... Bill Clinton arrived in Haiti on a Boeing 757. Hillary Clinton also spent some time there... While those and other VIP planes were parked on the tarmac, planes carrying relief supplies had no place to unload. A simple way to reduce this constraint would be to require that any VIPs going to Haiti ride in on a transport plane carrying relief supplies. Their visit would have to be limited to at most a few hours to free up tarmac space. ...

Just to be accurate, both Clintons flew in on planes carrying relief supplies. Hillary came in on a Coast Guard plane with supplies for the US embassy and left with 50 US citizens being evacuated; Bill's plane brought in medical supplies.

Jens
2010-Jan-20, 05:40 AM
Please, be a man of your word this time and stay out.

I have nothing to say about the contents of the message. I was just going to say, IIRC, isn't thehalyconyear a female?

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-20, 07:05 AM
Internet, dog, etc.

But yes, I think THY is.

NorthernBoy
2010-Jan-20, 11:24 AM
I have nothing to say about the contents of the message. I was just going to say, IIRC, isn't thehalyconyear a female?

Then I'll get out by claiming that I am just taking one step further down the road started by people who call female writers "authors" by calling everyone a man.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-20, 11:47 AM
Uhm... okay?

Mister Earl
2010-Jan-20, 12:15 PM
6.1 magnitude aftershock near Port Au Prince this morning.

weatherc
2010-Jan-20, 03:04 PM
6.1 magnitude aftershock near Port Au Prince this morning.Actually, the USGS made it a point on the news this morning to say that this was a separate quake incident, not an aftershock of the one last week.

I know that's a bit of a nitpick, especially since no one who experienced it would care if it was an aftershock or a separate quake, and the results are the same.

geonuc
2010-Jan-20, 04:20 PM
The USGS is calling it a 5.9 now. Still, big enough to rattle people and buildings.

Sam5
2010-Jan-20, 04:24 PM
The USGS is calling it a 5.9 now. Still, big enough to rattle people and buildings.

Here are some USGS animations and links to recent earthquake information. Click on “Start Animation”:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsanim/world.php

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/

Larry Jacks
2010-Jan-21, 10:04 PM
From this disaster, a rare piece of good news (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-haiti-child21-2010jan21,0,299050.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fnationworld% 2Fworld+%28L.A.+Times+-+World+News%29):

Haiti boy, 5, survives nearly 8 days under rubble

Gary Elize was gloomily looking for one last body Wednesday in the flattened apartment where his brother and sister-in-law had died: that of their 5-year-old child. He said he spotted the boy's leg in the rubble and put on a pair of surgical gloves, preparing to extract it.

Then, the leg moved.

Elize told of how he and several friends dug furiously in the steamy heat and unearthed Monley Elize -- dirt-caked, dehydrated, emaciated and scuffed up, but otherwise unhurt.

Monley's first words were whispered. "I want some juice."

Trapped for nearly eight days -- seven days, 21 hours -- the boy was alive.

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-21, 10:39 PM
There's an interesting offer for those that want to contribute to the aid of people suffering as a result of the Haiti earthquake. If you donate $20 for Earthquake Relief, you can get over $1000 in PDF files for pen and paper roleplaying games:

http://www.deadlyfredly.com/2010/01/midnight-post-help-haiti-get-1400-free/

The list of titles is at the lower portion of the article.

I'm thinking of going for it.

Rue
2010-Jan-22, 05:05 PM
Geez on another forum people were agreeing about how the US caused the poverty in Haiti and now Hugo Chavez says that the US caused the earthquake.

In relation to some of what has been discussed in this thread,
architectureforhumanity (http://www.architectureforhumanity.org/) is an organization that is looking ahead at how the infrastructure could be rebuilt.

NEOWatcher
2010-Jan-22, 05:24 PM
... and now Hugo Chavez says that the US caused the earthquake.
That sounded like it might just be a translation problem, so I looked for the story in the mainstream media...
Hugo Chavez Mouthpiece Says U.S. Hit Haiti With 'Earthquake Weapon' (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,583588,00.html)
:wall:

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-22, 05:29 PM
Okay, I can see how an argument could be made that the US (and other developed countries) have contributed to Haiti's downfall. I mean, an argument could be made that offering free food actually helped contributed to an economic downturn, since their main product is farming products, and they're getting it for free, so it lowers the price. (And even that's a rather simplistic take on the whole issue; there's internal turmoil to consider above and beyond external forces).

Still, earthquake weapon? Really?

djinn
2010-Jan-22, 05:34 PM
That sounded like it might just be a translation problem, so I looked for the story in the mainstream media...
Hugo Chavez Mouthpiece Says U.S. Hit Haiti With 'Earthquake Weapon' (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,583588,00.html)
:wall:

Fox News?

Anything else?

Gillianren
2010-Jan-22, 05:39 PM
I note it also says, at least in the headline, "Mouthpiece." Not Chavez himself. We all know how that can get twisted.

NorthernBoy
2010-Jan-22, 05:59 PM
Geez on another forum people were agreeing about how the US caused the poverty in Haiti and now Hugo Chavez says that the US caused the earthquake.

The idea that rich nations (or communities, or people) cause poor ones by necessity is a relatively common one, but one that can rarely be justified by a rational look at the economics of a situation.

Having spent many years as a banker it's an accusation that I've personally been on the receiving end of very frequently. The general claim seems to be that capitalism itself requires subjugation of some people to make it work, but this is normally used as an axiom, rather than being justified via a valid argument.

It is not the job of the US to force other nations to become rich, but equally, it's hard to justify the claim that they systematically stop them achieving it themselves.

SeanF
2010-Jan-22, 07:11 PM
Fox News?

Anything else?
Here's (http://www.vive.gob.ve/inf_art.php?id_not=15446&id_s=3) the actual press release from ViVe's website (got it from the FoxNews story).

ViVe, at least according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ViVe), is pretty much owned and operated by the government of Venezuela.

I don't think it's much of a stretch to conclude this has Chavez's stamp of approval.




Rethink your stereotypes. :)

Sam5
2010-Jan-22, 07:22 PM
The idea that rich nations (or communities, or people) cause poor ones by necessity is a relatively common one, but one that can rarely be justified by a rational look at the economics of a situation.






Thanks for your comments.

I’ve been following some of Chavez’s statements on the Telesur channel out of Venezuela. This channel has both a streaming video link and a text link.

People can go to a news story in Spanish, and then take that URL and type it into the BableFish system and get a direct Spanish-to-English translation of the article.

I converted a long URL link to a short one, so let’s see if this works as a link to one of Chavez’s statements:

http://tinyurl.com/y8evm4e

I'm NOT an international economics expert, so my opinion is "I don't know", either way.

Larry Jacks
2010-Jan-22, 07:50 PM
That sounded like it might just be a translation problem, so I looked for the story in the mainstream media...
Hugo Chavez Mouthpiece Says U.S. Hit Haiti With 'Earthquake Weapon'

If we had such a weapon, why use it against Haiti and not Hugo Chavez himself? The US doesn't have anything against Haiti but Chavez, well, that's another story.

djinn
2010-Jan-22, 07:55 PM
SeanF quotes me asking if there are any sources about the report about Chavez and the "Earthquake Weapon" other than Fox News, and says "rethink your stereotypes".

It may come as news to him, but billions of people, including millions in the USA itself, wouldn't trust a word Fox News says without corroboration.

This thread has, unfortunately, slipped deep into politics, despite the fact that some people here don't seem to be able to recognise that their views carry political meaning.

As I understand it, Chavez himself never said that about the quake. I doubt he could possibly control every word spoken in Venezuela, or that he personally vets everything that agency prints. It has now been removed (possibly after he, or someone more sensible than the original author, was made aware of it).

Further than that, I don't care to say anything on that side topic, and it would be nice if those wishing to make political points did so somewhere other than BAUT.

NorthernBoy
2010-Jan-22, 07:59 PM
This thread has, unfortunately, slipped deep into politics, despite the fact that some people here don't seem to be able to recognise that their views carry political meaning.

Yes, we're real morons like that, so thanks for explaining it for us.

Sam5
2010-Jan-22, 08:05 PM
I don’t think this thread has “slipped deep into politics”.

I think everyone here is pretty smart, and I think we all know to “corroborate” just about everything we hear on any kind of TV news program.

djinn
2010-Jan-22, 08:06 PM
Yes, we're real morons like that, so thanks for explaining it for us.

Did I accuse anyone here of being a moron?
:rolleyes:

So why did you post your political views on the reason for Haiti's poverty?

Oh, they weren't political, they were economic?

SeanF
2010-Jan-22, 08:09 PM
It may come as news to him, but billions of people, including millions in the USA itself, wouldn't trust a word Fox News says without corroboration.
Believe me, it's no news.


It has now been removed (possibly after he, or someone more sensible than the original author, was made aware of it).
:think: Link still works for me, even after clearing my cache...

djinn
2010-Jan-22, 08:15 PM
:think: Link still works for me, even after clearing my cache...

The Fox News link posted by NEOwatcher says
The story has since been taken down from the Venezuelan Web site

So I should not have placed any credence in that article either.

SeanF
2010-Jan-22, 08:27 PM
The link posted by NEOwatcher says

The story has since been taken down from the Venezuelan Web site
So I should not have placed any credence in that article either.
Even more interesting.

I didn't even register that line in the FoxNews report. But I realized when I clicked on their link that it was to Google's cache, so I just skipped that, went directly to the ViVe website, and found it myself.

Only I didn't. What I found is apparently a completely different article - the URL is different than what FoxNews was linking to (or rather, what FoxNews was linking to Google's cache of).

So what I found must be a secondary article, perhaps even by a different author, that just references the original controversy (can't tell anymore because Google's cache has updated so FoxNews' link doesn't have the original article anymore, either).

All of which means, BTW, that the FoxNews article is, still, factually correct. ;)

Sam5
2010-Jan-22, 08:35 PM
Here is a version of the story dated Jan. 18:

http://www.vive.gob.ve/inf_art.php?id_not=15464&id_s=3

http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-home&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vive.gob.ve%2Finf_art.php%3 Fid_not%3D15464%26id_s%3D3&lp=es_en&btnTrUrl=Translate

This is actually a HAARP-related conspiracy theory. I used to read these in connection with Hurricane Katrina. A lot of conspiracy buffs claimed that Katrina was caused by HAARP radio waves.

To find this story I went to the Vive website and I typed "HAARP" into the search engine.

Sam5
2010-Jan-22, 08:51 PM
Added: The Vive story is credited to RNV, and Google says that means Radio Nacional de Venezuela.

I went to the RNV website and typed “HAARP” into the search engine, and I got this:

http://www.rnv.gov.ve/noticias/index.php?act=ST&f=2&t=117619&hl=haarp&

http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-home&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rnv.gov.ve%2Fnoticias%2Find ex.php%3Fact%3DST%26f%3D2%26t%3D117619%26hl%3Dhaar p%26s%3D5d57b49b760e2ca962ac417c28d77799&lp=es_en&btnTrUrl=Translate

If you go to a Google news search, and type in Haiti harp, you’ll find a bunch of such conspiracy articles published around the world.

Swift
2010-Jan-22, 10:05 PM
Yes, we're real morons like that, so thanks for explaining it for us.
This is completely inappropriate.

To everyone else, I wouldn't say that this thread has "slipped deep into politics”, but it is certainly heading in that direction. I ask everyone to change direction, or we'll close this thread.

NorthernBoy
2010-Jan-22, 10:36 PM
Oh, they weren't political, they were economic?

Yes, well done. That's what I do for a living, and I'm happy to share my economic views on the board.

You are probably very well qualified to dissect them, though, also being something of a financial expert?

Sam5
2010-Jan-22, 10:53 PM
Several TV networks are going to air a 2-hour “telethon” tonight, to raise money for the victims.

I think it is remarkable how the internet age and TV satellite news-coverage age has brought information about this disaster to people around the world, very quickly.

There is all sorts of talk now about more humanitarian organizations starting up, new types of housing being designed for disaster-prone areas of the world, and a lot of aid going through many NGOs. Also, CNN has been reporting that some of the stalled “adoptions” have been speeded up and some of the kids have finally been flown out of the country in the past few days.

djinn
2010-Jan-22, 10:56 PM
Yes, well done. That's what I do for a living, and I'm happy to share my economic views on the board.

You are probably very well qualified to dissect them, though, also being something of a financial expert?

Yet more sarky personal stuff? From a self-proclaimed "expert" who just can't grasp that Economics is Political?

Swift - Yes please, time to close the thread imho, but I'll vacate it anyway, so as not to prolong this. I don't mind being targeted for saying something unscientific, or offensive, but for asking for people to stick to the "no politcs" rule?

Sam5
2010-Jan-22, 10:58 PM
I ask everyone to change direction, or we'll close this thread.



May I suggest that you just delete the offensive posts, so the rest of us can continue to talk about and bring news about the earthquake?

captain swoop
2010-Jan-22, 11:02 PM
no we don't delte posts like that, we tell people to stop it and let the thread carry on. So people carry on no more politics or comments about same please