NOVA: Deadliest Earthquakes
Airs Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
Friday, January 7, 2011
In 2010, epic earthquakes all over the planet delivered one of the worst annual death tolls ever recorded. The deadliest strike was in Haiti, where a quake just southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince, killed more than 200,000, reducing homes, hospitals, schools, and the presidential palace to rubble.
Find the Tectonic Fault
In 2008, geophysicist Beatrice Magnani and her team discovered a previously unknown fault deep beneath Memphis, Tennessee, in an area home to millions of people. The fault could still be active and, if so, could potentially release a major earthquake. In this interactive, see if you can find the new fault within a so-called "seismic section," a picture of the subsurface created with sound.
In exclusive coverage, a NOVA camera crew follows a team of US geologists as they first enter Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. It is a race against time as they hunt for crucial evidence that will help them determine exactly what happened deep underground and what the risks are of a new killer quake.
Barely a month after the Haiti quake, Chile was struck by a quake 100 times more powerful, unleashing a tsunami that put the entire Pacific coast on high alert. In a coastal town devastated by the rushing wave, NOVA follows a team of geologists as they battle aftershocks to measure the displacement caused by the earthquake.
Could their work, and the work of geologists at earthquake hot-spots around the U.S., one day lead to a breakthrough in predicting quakes before they happen? NOVA investigates new leads in its investigation of a deadly scientific conundrum.