Haiti, as it turns out, isn’t particularly prone to earthquakes. Hurricanes and political turmoil, yes: it seems that every few years Haiti is buffeted with one or the other of those, and, either way, lots of people are killed. But earthquakes aren’t much more common in Haiti than in, say, the American Midwest. So the catastrophe that devastated Port-au-Prince on January 12 was a worst-case scenario: completely unexpected and centered essentially on the national capital and largest population center by far. It’s an unbelievably cruel stroke of fate and bad luck.