Haiti Quake Could Have Been Even Worse

By Richard A. Kerr
ScienceNOW Daily News 13 January 2010


The death toll from yesterday's magnitude-7.0 earthquake in Haiti has already reached the thousands and may climb higher. But seismologist William McCann says things could have been a lot worse. The quake ruptured only a part of the fault segment that caused a magnitude-7.5 quake over 200 years ago, he says, and that quake was about five times more powerful than the one that struck near Port-au-Prince yesterday.