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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Experts: Haiti at risk for another big aftershock - Yahoo! News
"NEW YORK – Haiti can expect more aftershocks in coming weeks, and while the usual pattern suggests they will become weaker and less frequent, another one as strong as Wednesday's jolt is certainly possible, scientists say. The battered nation has felt more than 40 significant aftershocks since the Jan. 12 quake, with Wednesday's temblor the strongest. Originally estimated at magnitude 6.1, Wednesday's aftershock was later revised to a 5.9. These events are a sign the land is adjusting to "the new reality of the rock layers," said Bruce Pressgrave, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Eric Calais of Purdue University, who has studied earthquake potential in the region, said aftershocks could continue for several weeks and that another jolt as strong as Wednesday's would not be surprising. "They will be less and less frequent, but large ones can still strike," he said. So buildings are still at risk, especially those already weakened, he said. Julie Dutton, a USGS geophysicist, agreed that more aftershocks are probable and that another event like Wednesday's was certainly possible. "More likely we see that the earthquakes decrease in size, but you definitely have the potential that you can have a larger earthquake," she said."