A 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti yesterday, and while the devastation is readily apparent, the human toll is not yet known. Chris Rowan details the tectonics on the event on Highly Allochtonous, explaining that the epicenter's proximity to Port-au-Prince means the capital "endured the maximum possible shaking intensity from an earthquake of this size." Rowan goes on to conclude the diminutive Caribbean plate experienced a strike-slip fault along its northern edge with the much larger North American plate, a rupture which was not "particularly unusual" in the "tectonic context," but which in the economic context of the western hemisphere's poorest nation makes for nothing short of a catastrophe. Jonah Lehrer on The Frontal Cortex fears the impending casualty count, writing that when humans are faced with such large numbers, "the emotional event becomes an abstraction, which fails to trigger the proper moral reaction." Eric Klemetti on Eruptions reports that the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a local Tsunami Watch last night, and PZ Myers and Greg Laden offer links for us to stay on top of the story and make donations to aid agencies providing help in the wake of this disaster.
Links below the fold.