WASHINGTON - The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, strengthened the Government of Haiti’s ability to detect earthquake activity by funding five new seismometers. The surveillance network transmits timely information through the internet on seismic activities in Port-au-Prince and regions to the North.
The seismometers, which detect and measure movements in the earth’s surface, will replace the temporary surveillance equipment provided by the U.S. Government immediately after the earthquake, and build upon joint research between scientists of the Bureau des Mines (Haitian Bureau of Mines) and the US Geologist Survey. The Bureau des Mines will also receive technical training and logistical assistance to improve seismic surveillance.
By funding the new seismometers, the U.S. Government delivers on an agreement it made with Bureau des Mines earlier this year.
“Instead of just giving the Government of Haiti data on seismic activity, we’re giving them the tools to do it themselves,” said USAID/Haiti Mission Director Dr. Carleene Dei. “This is what we mean when we say we’re supporting the Government of Haiti’s plan to build back better.”
A 7.0 earthquake wracked the Port-au-Prince region on January 12, 2010. It killed 230,000 people and displaced another 1.3 million. Tremors continue to rattle buildings in the area.
The seismic surveillance station will monitor the Port-au-Prince and Northern regions, but an expanded network could cover more regions in the future.