Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Tale of Two Earthquakes

As I write this it is fairly early on a Wednesday morning. I didn't plan on posting articles in the middle of the night when I started this blog but I find its best to be productive when your brain won't turn off at 2:47 in the morning.

Unless you've been extremely busy and detached from all sources of news and information for the past several hours you have probably heard about Tuesday evening's earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The situation there as we can best tell at this point is deadly serious. It was interesting to see the Larry King Show last night feature both a management disaster (Conan vs Leno) and a natural disaster and it was quite easy to guess who would be on Anderson Cooper's show immediately thereafter. There are lots of pictures showing the destruction caused by this quake floating around the Internet from the last hour or so of daylight on Tuesday. I won't post them here but you can check some of them out by visiting PicFog.

As we wait to hear more about the situation later on today I think its interesting to note that only 3 days prior to the Haiti earthquake we were looking at news from Northern California regarding the 6.5 earthquake there. The relative difference in Richter scale (6.5 versus 7.0) and distance from the surface (18.2 versus 6.2 miles) is of little use in comparing the two earthquakes. What we're looking at here is the huge distinction between communities that have been mandated to be resilient and have the resources to properly prepare and mitigate this type of risk and communities that have had little to no chance to build up any resiliency at all (especially after being hit by 4 tropical storms in 2008.) Today we find that Eureka, CA (about 29 miles away from the CA quake epicenter) is cleaning up its town with no injuries from the weekend's event. We know that is far from the case Haiti will be in as the UN and the national government hope to account for all of their people, let alone maintain operations, as daylight arrives on the island country.

If you've been to this site before you may have noticed that the posting schedule has been pretty regular (Mon/Wed/Fri) up until this point. That schedule has gone out the window at this point so look for updates from me before and after work for awhile. Thanks again for stopping by.

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