Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DISASTER IMPACT: Where's The Money - Nearly 4 Years After Mega-Quake, Haitians Are Still Living In Tents?!

November 26, 2013 - HAITI - Eight-year-old Widlene Gabriel has lived nearly half her life in a camp for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the devastating January 2010 earthquake in desperately poor Haiti.

As the fourth anniversary of the disaster approaches, more than 170,000 Haitians are still living in makeshift housing, in extremely precarious conditions and sometimes facing eviction.

STILL IN TENTS. A young woman prepares food on November 1, 2013 at camp Acra in P├ętion-ville, Haiti,
where victims of the January 2010 earthquake are living in makeshift tents. AFP/Louis-Joseph Olivier

Widlene and her family live in a tent on a private lot along a main road linking the capital Port-au-Prince to the eastern suburb of Petionville.

The girl has never been to school and spends her days staring blankly at cars and trucks speeding along the road nearby.

"On January 12, 2010, the roof of our house fell on top of our heads. I wasn't hurt but our house fell apart and so we came here," Widlene recalls, her bare feet covered in dust.

Manette Nazius, a mother of six, says Widlene is hardly the only child seemingly left behind.

"All the kids here are in the same boat. All days are the same. They drag around all day. In fact, we are living without hope and we all feel abandoned," she says.

An estimated 250,000 people were killed in the quake, and the rebuilding process has been slow in Haiti, which was already one of the world's poorest countries when disaster struck.

In the immediate aftermath, more than 1.5 million people were homeless.

Huddled under Tent 15, which doubles as a church at the entrance of the camp, a small group of women chanted "Blessed be the lord. Blessed be the lord."

The pastor, in his 60s, stood at the entrance, but the faithful were few.

"We still support them in prayer," said the 60-something pastor, who gave his name as Pierre.

"They are people who have been abandoned by the authorities. They have nothing. But God does not punish twice."

Nevertheless, the young and homeless say they are without hope and feel they have been forgotten.

"No life"

Since 2011, the government has been able to relocate more than 60,000 families and take back some of the public spaces occupied by the unsanitary camps.

But about 172,000 people still live sprawled across 300 camps, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Residents of the camp where Widlene lives say they have no alternatives, surviving thanks to odd jobs and whatever food scraps they can gather.

"We live like brothers and sisters. We help each other out but we don't expect anything from the government," said Bladimir Eliancy, a 30-something resident who was trained as a mechanic.

At another camp – a group of tents were set up on a property once owned by the Italian mission – the feeling of despair is the same.

"We have been forgotten by the authorities and international organizations no longer visit us," said a dejected Donald Duvert.

"Sometimes, we get angry. But we are good citizens. We don't go out into the streets to attack the rich. But just take a look at how we live," he added, pointing to the dilapidated tents that house 150 families.

Joseph Gino, seeking a bit of shade under a mango tree, echoed Duvert's hopelessness.

"Before, life was very difficult for us. Today, there is no life. Only God knows when we'll get out of here – or maybe the decision-makers do," he said.

A mother with a four-year-old son born in the camp added: "At this time of the day, nobody can stay under the tents. The children are suffering from the heat under the tarps."

The boy has never slept in a bed or in a real room.

But some still hold out hope for a better future by advancing their studies to lift themselves out of decrepit poverty.

"I am a little bit behind, but it's my only exit," said 18-year-old Fabienne. - Rappler.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Rock Ruptures Reported In Kuwait - But No Earthquake?!

November 26, 2013 - KUWAIT - The national seismic network at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) said on Tuesday that it had detected seismic waves in some of the network’s stations, at 10:06 a.m., but no activity that classifies as an earthquake.

The network’s press release indicated the investigation into the observation showed that the readings were caused by rock ruptures.

It further explained that a seismic wave is a wave of energy that travels through the Earth’s layers, and could be the result of an earthquake, explosion, or a volcano that imparts low-frequency acoustic energy, and also some types of human activity.

On October 29, 2013, the region of Kuwait was hit by a 3.7 magnitude tremor. - KUNA.

MONUMENTAL WEATHER ANOMALIES: The New Breed Of Tremors - Earthquakes In New Zealand Weakened Earth's Crust; Even More Unusual Than First Thought?!

November 26, 2013 - NEW ZEALAND - The Canterbury earthquakes were even more unusual than first thought and unlikely to occur anywhere else in the world, new research reveals.

The research, led by seismologist Martin Reyners of GNS Science, showed the unusual rock structure of the region meant the Canterbury earthquakes produced some of the strongest vertical ground accelerations ever seen in an earthquake.

The makeup of this unique dense and thick slab of rock could have implications for other regions around the lower South Island.

''There will be few other places in the world where a similar earthquake sequence might occur," Reyners said.

The research, published in Nature Geoscience showed that the strong quakes in Canterbury also could cause widespread cracking and weakening of the earth's crust - challenging the common assumption that the strength of the crust was constant.

Normally rocks become hot and ''plastic'' at depths of about 10km. However, the researchers found that strong, brittle rocks continued to a depth of about 30km under Canterbury.

''Strong rocks store and release strain differently to weak rocks," Reyners said.

This unusually thick and dense slab of rock helps to explain the long and energetic aftershock sequence in Canterbury, he said.

Seismic energy would have dissipated more quickly in softer rock.The researchers were now focussed on determining how widespread this strong rock unit is in the lower half of the South Island.

"This is important for defining the earthquake hazard for people living between mid-Canterbury and Southland," Reyners said.

The researchers had initially set out to determine the three-dimensional structure of the crust under Canterbury by using a technique called seismic tomography - similar to a medical CAT scan or ultrasound.

This helps to get more accurate aftershock locations and better define the many smaller faults that ruptured in the earthquakes.

Instead, researchers found that rock properties had changed significantly over a wide area around the Greendale Fault, which ruptured on 4 September 2010 producing a magnitude 7.1 quake.

"This finding was entirely unexpected, but it explains why the main shock released so much energy," Reyners said.

Most of the quakes in the two-year-long Canterbury sequence released abnormally high levels of energy - this was consistent with the ruptures occurring on very strong faults that store energy slowly and gradually and are hard to break.

The Canterbury quakes had their genesis 100 million years ago when very strong rocks became emplaced under Canterbury, he said.

The delay between the September 2010 and Feburary 2011 quakes also may have been caused by a ''strength recovery'' required for the crust following the cracking following the September quake, the research said.The research involved analysing the seismic waves produced by 11,500 aftershocks in Canterbury.

This enabled the team to build a 3D picture of rock structure to a depth of about 35km below the surface.

Reyners said post-quake analysis such as this research was important as it helps to understand how strain builds up in thecrust and how it is released during earthquakes.

"But to do that accurately, we need to understand the types of rocks that exist at depth.''  - Stuff.