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A (Very) Brief History of Corruption

April 11, 2011

Bernard Wasow in The Globalist:

It now appears that more than 300,000 people were killed by collapsed buildings in the devastating Haiti earthquake of January 2010. That earthquake, which measured 7.0 on the standard scale, was powerful, to be sure — but it was only the world’s 14th most powerful since 2000.

The 13 more powerful quakes are estimated to have killed a combined 165,000 through building collapse. Some far more powerful earthquakes than Haiti’s led to far less devastation. For example, later in 2010, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake — the second most powerful since 1980 — killed fewer than 1,000 in Chile.

Recent research argues that the difference in earthquake devastation caused by building collapse is not simply a result of the location of the quake relative to population concentrations, nor is it directly the result of poverty’s effect on building quality.I

Nicholas Ambraseys of Imperial College London and Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado at Boulder argue that the extent of corruption tells us more than poverty about the consequences of earthquakes. [More]

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2011 11:46 AM

    I think it’s a good indication of just how poor some of these areas really are.

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