Raw Video is coming in from various regions of Haiti Following Tuesdays 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
Early reports indicate 1000′s dead and damages into the billions of dollars. The video is from the seaport town of Les Cayes, located in southwestern Haiti, with a population of approximately 70,000″ in the area. (LiveLeak). Reports coming out of Haiti are largely unconfirmed as the country is in a state of chaos following the earthquake. The United States and other counties are mounting relief efforts.
The town has 48,000 people and is the centre of the arrondissement or department of the same name. The earthquake was 140 km east of La Cayes, 10 km deep. According to the USGS, the damage in La Cayes should have been light to moderate. The video shows severe damage which may be attributed to the low standard of construction in the poverty ridden country of Haiti.
“Les Cayes is one of the most important port of Haiti, where coffee, sugar, bananas and timber are sent to other countries and other parts of Haiti. There is also an airport, Antoine Simon Airport, with the name of a president of Haiti that was born in Les Cayes.” Wikipedia The town has founded in 1726 and has many historic buildings and public monuments which may have been destroyed by the earthquake.
USGS The January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake occurred in the boundary region separating the Caribbean plate and the North America plate. This plate boundary is dominated by left-lateral strike slip motion and compression, and accommodates about 20 mm/y slip, with the Caribbean plate moving eastward with respect to the North America plate.
Haiti occupies the western part of the island of Hispaniola, one of the Greater Antilles islands, situated between Puerto Rico and Cuba. At the longitude of the January 12 earthquake, motion between the Caribbean and North American plates is partitioned between two major east-west trending, strike-slip fault systems — the Septentrional fault system in northern Haiti and the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system in southern Haiti.
The location and focal mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with the event having occurred as left-lateral strike slip faulting on the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system. This fault system accommodates about 7 mm/y, nearly half the overall motion between the Caribbean plate and North America plate.
The Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system has not produced a major earthquake in recent decades. The EPGFZ is the likely source of historical large earthquakes in 1860, 1770, 1761, 1751, 1684, 1673, and 1618, though none of these has been confirmed in the field as associated with this fault.