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Are earthquakes becoming more frequent?

April 23, 2010 — Several major earthquakes have made headlines around the world this year. Are they becoming more common?

It was a day that many people won't soon forget.

On January 12th, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Port-au-Prince, the capital of city of Haiti. That initial tremor was followed by at least 52 aftershocks. An estimated 3 million people were affected.

It was the first of several major quakes to make headlines in 2010. On February 27th, an 8.8 magnitude quake shook the coast of Chile. On Sunday, April 4th, a 7.2 magnitude quake struck near Mexicali, Mexico. And recently, on April 14th, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked part of southern China.

All of the earthquakes were deadly, caused widespread damage and made headlines around the world.

So, if you're like many Canadians, you may be wondering -- is this the new norm?

Well, according to an earthquake expert at Simon Fraser University, these earthquakes aren't exactly unusual.

“We have 15 or 20 of those on earth every year. It's just that one was right at ground zero in terms of a vulnerable population,” says John Clague. “I think because we've had these very highly publicized and disastrous events people have a feeling that they're more common, but they're not actually.”

Clague says this year's major earthquakes are more noticeable because they are hitting more densely populated areas.

For the latest on all of the international weather stories making headlines, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV. Our newscast comes up at :12 and :42 minutes past each hour.

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