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Caribbean: Earthquake and Tsunami on Tuesday 12th January 2010

Haiti "Shake Map"

This is a Tsunami warning message taken from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre which cancelled a Caribbean sea watch yesterday:

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME –  2153Z 12 JAN 2010
COORDINATES –  18.5 NORTH   72.5 WEST
LOCATION    –  HAITI REGION
MAGNITUDE   –  7.1

EVALUATION

A TSUNAMI MEASURING 12 CM CREST-TO-TROUGH WAS RECORDED AT SANTO
DOMINGO IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND A TSUNAMI LESS THAN 1 CM
CREST-TO-TROUGH WAS RECORDED ON A DEEP OCEAN GAUGE IN THE
EAST-CENTRAL CARIBBEAN.

Some more technical information was made available by the US Geological survey:

At the longitude of the January 12 earthquake, motion between the Caribbean and North American plates is partitioned between two major east-west trending, strike-slip fault systems — the Septentrional fault system in northern Haiti and the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system in southern Haiti.

The location and focal mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with the event having occurred as left-lateral strike slip faulting on the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault system.

The Haitian Ambassador to the United States has made a plea for help and President Obama has expressed his sympathies with the people of Port-au-Prince, who were worst affected.

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