Microearthquakes occur 8,000 times per day. These tiny tremors register below 2.0 on the Richter Scale - the universal measurement system of earthquakes which assigns a number to each quake based on the seismic energy it releases.
On January 12, at around 5 PM EST a 7.0 earthquake shook southern Haiti. The massive quake only lasted 30 seconds, but the damage was devastating. CNN reports that the capital city of Haiti, Port-au-Prince lays in ruins, with many buildings and homes completely collapsed, including a hospital. There is no total number of fatalities at this point, but a representative U.S. State Department expects there will be a "serious loss of life."
The dust has not yet settled in Haiti to reveal the full extent of damage, but there are already ways to help those effected by this disaster. Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, and much help will be needed to rebuild and restore.
Below is a list of just a few non-profit organizations you can get involved with to help the victims of today's earthquake: