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At least 14 UN staff were killed and 56 injured in the earthquake that rocked Haiti, the UN has said, adding that it fears UN casualties will rise further.
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Distraught Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive announced the massive toll while witnesses told how the victims died in 60 seconds of mayhem as buildings collapsed on them.
But one estimate predicted the final toll could reach 500,000, making it the second most devastating quake in recorded history.

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The extent of the devastation from a huge quake in Haiti is slowly emerging, with a number of UN peacekeepers among thousands of people feared dead.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the head of the UN mission in Haiti and his deputy were among more than 100 staff missing.
The 7.0-magnitude quake, Haiti's worst in two centuries, struck south of the capital, Port-au-Prince, on Tuesday.

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Haiti quake: The worst of places for a big tremor

It was immediately obvious that Tuesday's quake in Haiti would be an appalling natural disaster.
This was a large tremor centred on an impoverished country with little recent experience or preparedness for such a major event of this kind.
The simplest concrete structures in the capital of Port-au-Prince will have crumpled under the same strain.
Seismometers recorded a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 at 1653 local time (2153 GMT).

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Eyewitnesses have spoken of scenes of devastation after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti, toppling buildings in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
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Microplate tectonics in the northeastern Caribbean

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Title: ENRIQUILLO-PLANTAIN GARDEN STRIKE-SLIP FAULT ZONE: A MAJOR SEISMIC HAZARD AFFECTING DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, HAITI AND JAMAICA
Authors: Mann, Paul, Calais, Eric, Demets, Chuck, Prentice, Carol S., and Wiggins-Grandison, Margaret

he Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone (EPGFZ) extends from south-central Hispaniola to Jamaica and defines the southern edge of the Gonave microplate. The EPGFZ forms a continuous and prominent geomorphic lineament from the Enriquillo Valley of the Dominican Republic , through the southern peninsula of Haiti , across the Jamaica Passage between Jamaica and Haiti and along the Plantain Garden fault zone bounding the southern edge of the Blue Mountains of eastern Jamaica . The linearity of the fault and its association with en echelon folds, pull-apart basins, and restraining bends indicates that motion is left-lateral and late Quaternary in age. Historical earthquakes indicate that the last major ruptures of the fault occurred in an east to west time-space progression that began in 1751 in south-central Hispaniola and perhaps culminated in the Kingston , Jamaica , event in 1907. Recorded seismicity over the past 40 years is sparse as expected from a fully locked fault plane. GPS-constrained block models with elastic strain accumulation give ~8 mm/year of slip rate on the fault. Since the last major event in south-central Dominican Republic was in 1751, that yields ~2 meters of accumulated strain deficit, or a Mw=7.2 earthquake if all is released in a single event today. The two largest cities within 30 km of the fault zone are Port-au-Prince , Haiti , and Kingston , Jamaica , with a combined population of 3.65 million inhabitants. We present initial results from a paleoseismic study of the Jamaica segment of the EGPGFZ conducted in January, 2008, to determine the chronology of its historic and prehistoric ruptures. Such studies should be considered high priority in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic given the seismic hazards posed by the fault.

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The United States is offering our full assistance to Haiti and to others in the region. We will be providing both civilian and military disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
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Magnitude 5.1, January 13, 2010 01:16:52 GMT
Magnitude 5.2, January 13, 2010 00:59:06 GMT
Magnitude 5.0, January 13, 2010 00:43:27 GMT
Magnitude 5.1, January 12, 2010 23:12:04 GMT
Magnitude 5.5, January 12, 2010 22:12:05 GMT
Magnitude 5.9, January 12, 2010 22:00:42 GMT

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HAITIB.jpg
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