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Expert Alert

U of M experts available to speak on Haitian earthquake

January 13, 2010

Rescue efforts continue today in Haiti where the worst earthquake to hit the Caribbean in 200 years struck south of the capital, Port-au-Prince, on Tuesday. The Red Cross estimates that up to three million people have been affected and the cost of damage could potentially run into the billions.

University of Minnesota experts who can comment on the Haitian earthquake are:

April Knutson, instructor in the department of French and Italian
Knutson spends time each year conducting humanitarian work in Haiti, particularly Port au Prince and in the north of part of the country. She has been involved in a women’s group that helps victims of sexual assault and violence.

Knutson can comment on general humanitarian conditions in Haiti, day-to-day life and the spirit of its people.

Justin Revenaugh, professor, department of geology and geophysics
Revenaugh's research focuses on structural seismology, which is the study of Earth's interior using seismic waves from earthquake sources.  

He says Haiti had been identified as a significant hazard and capable of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake, though one was not necessarily expected. Revenaugh warns that aftershocks, some potentially quite large (magnitude-6.0) are possible, but there is not a tsunami threat.  

Revenaugh is available to comment on the science behind yesterday's earthquake. 
To interview either one of these experts, contact the University News Service (612) 624-5551 or

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Engineering

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Related Links

Minnesotans with ties to Haiti are "just heartbroken," scrambling for news (Star Tribune)

Hope for Haiti: U chapter of Engineers Without Borders strives to make a difference (UMNews feature story)

Driven to Discover: Engineers Without Borders making a difference in Haiti (video)

Justin Revenaugh's faculty bio page