Perhaps it is because the carnage that is Haiti is so fresh in my mind but I guess it cannot just be him and I who will feel a little underwhelmed. Actually that is perhaps the wrong word, relieved is probably more apt.
Angry is another word which I could use.
The quake which hit Haiti had a magnitude of 7. Chile has just been hit with a quake with a magnitude of 8.8. Given that this is a logarithmic scale this means that Chile was hit with a quake nearly 100 times more powerful than that which struck Haiti.
The initial death toll for Haiti hovered around 50,000 but has leapt as bodies and destruction has been uncovered The New York Times reports that the cost could be between $7.2 billion to $13.2 billion, based on a death toll from 200,000 to 250,000.
The initial reporting from Chile states that 82 people have died. This number is bound to increase but is far lower than even the preliminary outlines that we heard from Haiti on the 12th January.
Geography has certainly played an important role in why Chile has suffered less than Haiti.
Haiti was struck by an earthquake 25 km from its vast and sprawling capital whereas Chile’s quake has struck further away from major population centres.
But poverty and corruption meant that any disaster which struck Haiti would have an impact out of proportion to what we would expect anywhere else.
So because of these factors an earthquake 100 times more powerful will only kill a 100th as many people.