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Jan 15, 2010 9:46 AM by Associated Press

Scientists warned Haiti officials of quake in '08

Scientists who detected worrisome signs of growing stresses in the fault that unleashed the devastating earthquake in Haiti say they warned officials there in 2008 that the area was ripe for a major earthquake.

But the researchers say their findings came too late for the impoverished nation to act before Tuesday's deadly magnitude 7.0 quake.

Their conclusions also lacked a specific timeframe that could have prodded quick action to shore up hospitals, schools and other buildings that collapsed.

Purdue University geophysicist Eric Calais conducted research that predicted the fault was capable of causing a 7.2-magnitude quake near Haiti's capital. Those findings were presented at a conference in March 2008 and at meetings two months later.

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