Centuries of Fault Stress Unleashed Haiti Hell
Devastating 7.0 quake brewing since 1760
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2010 1:50 AM CST
A shattered building stands empty in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, yesterday following a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake.   (AP Photo/Radio Tele Ginen)
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(Newser) – The catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday had been brewing along a fault line for hundreds of years, experts say. Geologists believe the tectonic plates beneath the Caribbean had been pushing against each other along the fault ever since a major quake in 1760, finally rumbling into cataclysm yesterday. The 7.0 magnitude quake that resulted is the largest ever recorded in the area, and the death toll in the tragedy is expected to reach thousands, reports the Miami Herald.

The quake and its aftershocks have devastated Port-au-Prince. Many buildings are in rubble and more aftershocks are expected. "The main issue here will probably be shaking,” a seismologist with the US Geological Survey tells the New York Times. “This is an area that is particularly vulnerable in terms of construction practice, and with a high population density. There could be a high number of casualties."