Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tale of Two Quakes: Chile Was Ready, Haiti Wasn't

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The earthquake in Chile was far stronger than the one that struck Haiti last month — yet the death toll in this Caribbean nation is magnitudes higher.
The reasons are simple.
Chile is wealthier and infinitely better prepared, with strict building codes, robust emergency response and a long history of handling seismic catastrophes. No living Haitian had experienced a quake at home when the Jan. 12 disaster crumbled their poorly constructed buildings.
And Chile was relatively lucky this time....

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