Haiti Earthquake, Deforestation Heighten Landslide Risk
The combination of widespread deforestation and the recent earthquake in Haiti could lead to more landslides in the already hard-hit country, scientists say.
(Read "Haiti Earthquake 'Strange,' Strongest in 200 Years.")
Many of Haiti's people, the poorest in the Americas, routinely cut down trees for fuel—either to burn "raw" or turn into charcoal.
As a result, the destruction of Haiti's natural forests is almost total, making the Caribbean country one of the most deforested in the world.
As Haiti's trees have disappeared, landslides have become a major concern, especially during the rainy season, and the destabilizing effects of an earthquake on soil only worsen the problem.
(See "Haiti Earthquake Pictures: Devastation on the Day After.")