Heavy Rainfall Can Cause Huge Earthquakes
Rain-induced erosion loosens faults, scientist says.
The devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti in early 2010 came only 18 months after Haiti had been deluged by several hurricanes and tropical storms. (See "Haiti Earthquake Anniversary: Pictures Show Slow Recovery.")
And another large earthquake, a magnitude 6.4 temblor that rocked Taiwan in 2009, occurred only seven months after the area had been hit by Typhoon Morakot, which dropped 9.5 feet (2.9 meters) of rain in five days. Hurricanes are called typhoons in parts of Asia.
To put that in perspective, "that's about five times the average [annual] rainfall of San Francisco ... in