Magnitude-7.3 earthquake hits off Haiti: USGS

08:12, January 13, 2010      

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A strong earthquake with a confirmed magnitude of 7.0 occurred on Tuesday near Haiti, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported.


This image obtained courtesy of the US Geological Survey (USGS) illustrates the intensity of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that rocked the impoverished Caribbean nation of Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)

The epicenter was just 15 kilometers southwest of Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to a statement on the USGS website.

The quake struck at about 4:53 p.m. local time (2153 GMT), the USGS said.


This image obtained courtesy of the US Geological Survey (USGS) illustrates the intensity of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that rocked the impoverished Caribbean nation of Haiti, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a local tsunami watch following the quake, but ruled out the possibility of a destructive widespread tsunami threat.

"A destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," said a statement on the center's official website.


A major earthquake measuring 7.3 on Richter scale rocks the coast of Haiti on Jan 12, causing loss of life in and around the capital, Port-au-Prince.

"However, there is the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than 100 kilometers from the earthquake epicenter," it said.

"Authorities for the region near the epicenter should be aware of this possibility. Areas further from the epicenter could experience small sea level changes and strong or unusual coastal currents," it added.

Source: Xinhua
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