Major Quake, Caribbean Sea

A major earthquake struck Haiti in the Caribbean Sea late this morning New Zealand time.

Wednesday 13th January 2010

A 7th magnitude earthquake struck Haiti at 10:53 this morning, New Zealand time.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake as magnitude 7.0, located on-shore 15 km south of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince at a depth of 10 km.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre initially reported the event as magnitude 7.3 but has revised this to magnitude 7.1 at a similar location. The location uncertainty could easily put the epicentre off-shore under the Caribbean Sea, and tsunami watches are in effect for Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

Two bulletins have been issued by the PTWC, the second noting that sea level readings would not be available until about midday New Zealand time. If a wave has been generated, its arrival time at Port-Au-Prince was expected to be 11:30 a.m.

The area around Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands has experienced about forty earthquakes with magnitudes between 2.5 and 3.7 during the past week. This morning’s quake was located to the west of this activity. Two aftershocks of magnitude 5.9 and 5.5 were recorded at 11 a.m. and 11:12 New Zealand time.

[Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and its contributing agencies; and the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.]

One Response to “Major Quake, Caribbean Sea”

  1. Ken says:

    Update: A tsunami measuring 12 cm was recorded at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre. The wave was less than 1 cm at a deep ocean gauge in the East-Central Caribbean. The watch for countries in and bordering the Caribbean Sea (except Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) was cancelled at 1245 New Zealand time.

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