I don’t believe Pat Robertson. Haiti’s earthquake wasn’t really due to a pact with the Devil. But Pat Robertson tends to see the Devil scoring points or God punishing in every natural disaster. To him, there’s apparently no such thing as natural disaster.
The United States Geological Survey has an informative page about earthquakes, explaining why faults break:
Although the Earth seems very stable on a human time scale, over geologic time it is a very dynamic system. Rock bodies are continuously being made and destroyed. Mountains are pushed up and ground down. Huge slabs of the Earth’s surface are sliding and grinding past and over one another.
The powerful forces that drive this system cause huge slabs of the Earth’s crust, called tectonic plates, to grind and push against one another. The rocks along the boundaries of these plates are continuously being squeezed and sheared, causing them to bend and break. California is cut by one such plate boundary, between the Pacific and North American plates, at the San Andreas Fault system.
There’s a great map of earthquakes past showing how they generally happen along fault lines.
That page also has a photo of my second favorite Bean Creek fossil – the crinoid – along with these words: “Fossilized fragments of a marine animal called crinoid, or sea lily, have been found near the top of Mount Everest, evidence of the dynamic forces that drive faults.” Probable Pat Robertson explanation: the Great Flood. A friend once told me that fossils aren’t really millions of years old; they were rather recently placed on Earth by God to challenge our faith.