February 2010 Current Events: Science/Disasters News
Here are the key events in Science and Disasters news for the month of February 2010.
- 10 Americans Charged with Child Abduction in Haiti (Feb. 4): Ten American missionaries who, in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Haiti January 12, attempted to take 33 children out of the country have been charged with child abduction and criminal conspiracy. The Americans claim that they wanted to take the children, who were allegedly orphaned during the earthquake, across the border to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. However, they failed to gain permission of the Haitian government, which is required by law, and several of the children still have one living parent. If convicted, the missionaries could fact up to 15 years in prison. (Feb. 17): Eight of the ten American missionaries detained in Haiti on charges of child abduction have been ordered free by a judge who found there was no evidence of criminal intent. The missionaries were allowed to leave the country. The other two members of the group, including the group leader, have been retained for additional questioning.
- Chile Hit By 8.8 Magnitude Earthquake (Feb. 27): An 8.8 magnitude earthquake rocks Chile. Fatalities are relatively low, with some 750 people killed in the devastation. However, as many as 1.5 million people are displaced. The country, long known to be at high risk for earthquakes, has enforced strict building codes in urban areas, which helped to limit the amount of damage in these areas. But buildings and homes in poorer areas—many built with adobe—did not fare as well. Chile's electricity grids, communication, and transportation systems are badly damaged, severely hampering rescue and aid efforts. The epicenter of the quake was 70 miles northeast of Concepcion in central Chile. Massive waves continue to cause additional damage along the coast.