The recent quake in Haiti was caused by tectonic plates moving, as are most earthquakes. In Haiti, the North American plate and the Caribbean plate slide past each other in an east/west direction. The plates slid, causes the earth to rumble. It is the same kind of earthquakes that hit California on the San Andreas fault line. There is regularly small amounts of movement between these two plates in Haiti, but this large of a quake is very rare.
Tectonic plates are usually the cause of earthquakes, and that was the case in Haiti. the North American plate and the Caribbean plate came into contact with each other.
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