Haiti’s earthquake in context

Jan 12, 2011

Haiti’s earthquake in 2010 was by far the most devastating in a long time. There were an estimated 222,570 casualties as a result. However, as Peter Aldhous shows in this graphic, the Haiti quake was not the most powerful.

The earthquake that struck near the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on 12 January 2010, was unremarkable in seismic terms — barely making the year’s top 20 most powerful quakes. But it was one of the most deadly seismic events in the past four decades, serving as a reminder that the scope of these disasters is defined not by the scale of the Earth’s unleashed fury, but by overcrowding in poor urban areas and lax or poorly enforced building codes.

In a few decades from now, someone could easily make the mistake of graphing out seismic data for 2010 and pointing out only the biggest one. But then they’d be missing the quake that should have the most emphasis.

The same goes for your own data. You’re going to miss a lot when all you’re looking at is one column.

[Earthquakes | Thanks, Peter]

1 Comment

Favorites

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.