Scientific and Humanitarian Lessons from the Haiti and Japan Earthquakes is the topic of of the next Portland OMSI Science Pub on Wednesday, February 22, 2012:
The January 2010 earthquake in Haiti was not particularly large. Magnitude 7 events happen dozens of times a year around the world. But this one killed a near-record number of people. What did scientists and the public know or not know about earthquake hazards in Haiti? Scientists knew that the area was likely to experience an earthquake of this size, but because such earthquakes had not occurred in Haiti for the past 240 years, public awareness was negligible. Building codes were non-existent, resulting in huge losses of life. On the other hand, the massive earthquake in Japan in March 2011 resulted in fewer deaths, while its tsunami wreaked widespread devastation.
The people and government of Haiti were overwhelmed by the size of the disaster, and the world community rushed to provide assistance in unimaginably difficult conditions. Civilian, military, and non-governmental organizations from around the world were involved in a relief operation of a magnitude larger than that ever previously staged in peacetime activities. Their cooperation, in situations that made communication and coordination almost impossible, provides a fascinating story that continues today, as reconstruction of the damaged country continues.
At this Science Pub, learn about the scientific aspects of both the Haiti and Japan earthquakes, including ongoing and future risks and implications for the USA, and an overview of the relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti.
Presenter Dr. Wayne D. Pennington is a geophysicist at Michigan Technological University, where he is also the Chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.
This science pub takes place at the Mission Theater (1624 NW Glisan) from 7pm until 9pm, but arrive early (5pm doors open) to secure your beer, grub, and a seat! There’s a $5.00 suggested donation/cover charge. Minors with adults are welcome, otherwise this event is 21 and over.