Haiti and Chile Earthquake Comparison Junction Hill School by nikeborome


									                                                                   Haiti and Chile

What do you know about the earthquake which devastated Chile on the morning of February 27,
2010? Take a few moments to read the New York Times article:

“Frantic Rescue Efforts in Chile as Troops Seek to Keep Order”

Now, what questions do you have about the earthquake and particularly how it compares to the
January’s earthquake in Haiti and the 2004 southeast Asian earthquake and tsunami. For
example, you might have questions about the science of earthquakes, resulting death tolls and/or
how other countries are responding and providing aid.

Let use one of the following charts to help us determine what we know about these earthquakes
and what we need to know. Jot down ideas on one of these charts and compile your ideas within
your group. This process will provide you an opportunity to focus on what information is most

K/W/L chart

Fact/Question/Response chart

Venn Diagram

I will know read an article entitled “Underwater Plate Cuts 400-Mile Gash”. This article
explains some comparisons among three earthquakes: the 1960 and 2010 quakes in Chile and the
2004 quake in Indonesia.

In the article Mr. Lin said his calculations showed that the quake on Saturday was 250 to 350
times more powerful than the Haitian quake.

But Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey in Golden, Colo.,
noted that at least on land, the effects of the Chilean tremor might not be as bad. “Even though
this quake is larger, it’s probably not going to reap the devastation that the Haitian quake did,” he

For one thing, he said, the quality of building construction is generally better in Chile than in
Haiti. And the fact that the quake occurred offshore should also help limit the destruction. In
Haiti, the rupture occurred only a few miles from the capital, Port-au-Prince. The rupture on
Saturday was centered about 60 miles from the nearest town, Chillan, and 70 miles from the
country’s second-largest city, Concepción.

Now let us discuss the following questions:

   1. How does the 2010 Chilean earthquake compare to the 1960 Chilean earthquake?
   2. Why do scientists believe that the 2010 Chilean earthquake will not wreak the same level
      of devastation as January’s Haitian earthquake did?
   3. How does the 2010 Chilean earthquake compare to the 2004 Indonesian earthquake?
   4. What reasons do scientists give to explain why the Indonesian quake caused so much
      more damage than the recent Chilean earthquake?
   5. What questions do you still have about how this earthquake compares to other recent
      natural disasters? How might we go about answering these questions?

Next we will view video clips, photographs, news reports and graphics, we will develop a
background of knowledge to analyze these two catastrophic events. Hopefully these materials
will provide a window on the two quakes and allow us to concentrate on the following five focal


After an overview of each of these focal areas, we will assign a specific area to
individual student groups. Each of these groups will be responsible to produce an
informative visual presentation to display for their classmates.

Extent of Damage – We can compare the quake magnitude and epicenter location,
infrastructure, economy and industry, building codes, population centers, government and culture
of Haiti and Chile to see why the damage was worse in Haiti even though the Chilean earthquake
was much stronger. This group could create a presentation on the factors that contributed to the
differences in damage between Haiti and Chile (quake magnitude and epicenter location,
infrastructure, economy and industry, building codes, population centers, government and
culture, etc.), to form a comparison, perhaps using Venn diagrams.

Earthquakes through History – We can put the 2010 Chilean and Haitian quakes into historical
perspective with respect to other earthquakes, including the 1960 Chilean quake and the 2004
Asian earthquake and tsunami. This group could take a specific historical earthquake to
research, to contribute to a class “Earthquakes Through History” timeline. The group should find
out the same pieces of information, such as date, location, magnitude, affected area, human toll,
damage to buildings and infrastructure, government and world response, and so on, along with
photographs (if possible).

Rescue and Aid – We will consider domestic and international response to the disasters by
militaries, governments and aid organizations, including rescue and recovery as well as efforts to
provide food, water, health care and shelter to those affected. His group could research rescue,
recovery, aid and rebuilding efforts in response to the Haiti and/or Chile (and/or Indonesia)
earthquakes, and compare and contrast responses.
Impressions – We can uncover personal responses to the disasters and tragedies. This group
could interpret personal writings and/or create a collage of images depicting an emotional
viewpoint to these tragedies.

News Reports –We can compare the content and tone of mainstream media coverage about
Chile, and/or compare these reports to those about Haiti. This group could investigate how one
news outlet covered one or both earthquakes (or all three, including Indonesia) and compare the
content and tone of the reports.

Once completed, each group will be expected to orally present the informative
visual presentation to their classmates.

The New York Times provides a good starting point for resources on this topic. Below are topic

the Haiti Earthquake of 2010,
Tidal Waves and Tsunamis

Also, from the breaking news updates blog, The Lede, in posts:


Additional useful resources include The Lens blog’s:

disaster photography,
Haiti Earthquake Multimedia collection,
Maps of the Chile Earthquake
reader photos

Coverage of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Southeast Asia can be found in the collection:

Asia’s Deadly Waves

Social media resources include the Times Twitter lists on:

Haiti Earthquake
Chile Earthquake.

For comparing earthquakes over time, you might use the statistics on:

Deadliest Quakes as of 2004
Costliest Natural Disasters Since 1900 (as of 2004).

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