Though insurers around the world are holding out hope that 2012 will not be as disastrous as 2011, a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that that may not be the case. The agency has been investigating earthquakes in the isles of Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In 2010, Haiti was rocked by a strong 7.0-magnitude quake that cost the lives of more than 300,000 people are decimated entire communities throughout the nation. Researchers say that this may not be the last big earthquake that comes to the region and suggest that both Haiti and the Dominican Republic are entering into a period of seismic activity.
The insurance industry is well versed in the potential risks associated with earthquakes. In the past two years, earthquakes in densely populated areas have exacted a terrible toll on the industry as a whole. While quakes are not uncommon, they are difficult to predict, making it nearly impossible for insurers to gauge when or where such an event will occur. Researchers from the Geological Survey suggest that a new string of quakes could be happening in the region because of an active fault system.
Powerful quakes could occur within the next two years, according to researchers from the agency. Insurers are now pressuring the governments of both countries to be proactive in their response to such catastrophes by building defenses against earthquakes.
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