Earthquake Monitoring in Haiti
Following the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, the USGS has been helping with earthquake awareness and monitoring in the country, with continued support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This assistance has helped the Bureau des Mines et de l'Energie (BME) in Port-au-Prince establish a Seismology Technical Unit and develop a first-ever national seismic network in Haiti. The Seismology Technical Unit also has an active outreach program aimed at education for local schools as well as Haitian officials, and has established itself as the authoritative local agency for matters related to earthquake hazard. A total of 15 seismic stations are now operating in Haiti, including six NetQuakes instruments owned and operated by the BME, seven USGS instruments that remain in Haiti on long-term loan, and two instruments installed by National Resources Canada. For any earthquake large enough to be felt, the NetQuakes instruments transmit triggered data via the Internet to the BME as well as several international data centers, providing a rapid-assessment capability that was lacking at the time of the 2010 earthquake.
As part of this collaboration, USGS scientists traveled to Cap Haitien, the largest city in North Haiti, in May 2013. In this photo, the technical director of the BME Seismology Technical Unit, Jean-Robert Altidor, installs one of the strong-motion instruments.