Information Note - Major 7.0 earthquake affects Haiti

News and Press Release
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Bridgetown, Barbados, January 12, 2010, CDEMA - A magnitude 7.0 earthquake located 18.451=B0N, 72.445=B0W struck the island of Haiti today Tuesday January 12th, 2010 at about 5:53 PM Atlantic Standard Time (AST). According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake struck 15 km (10 miles) South West of Port-au-Prince at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).

The tsunami watch bulletin initially issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) for Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic shortly after this event has now been cancelled.

While no tsunami threat currently exists, advice from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center encourages countries within the region to keep in mind that danger to boats and coastal structures can continue for several hours due to rapid currents. As local conditions can cause a wide variation in tsunami wave action, the all clear determination must be made by local authorities.

Preliminary Information


The quake was felt in the South Eastern portion of the Bahama islands. To date, no damage has been reported. Information was disseminated to the public on the warning signs of a tsunami and the public was advised to monitor the shoreline and take precautionary actions as necessary.


Preliminary reports indicate that there has been significant damage. Two hospitals in Port-au-Prince have suffered major damage. Water, electricity and telephone services have been disrupted.


The quake was reportedly felt along the Eastern corridor, particularly the North East and South East coasts. Public information was disseminated as a precautionary measure on the tsunami and populations in coastal areas were requested to be vigilant.

No damage has been reported to date but an assessment will be undertaken tomorrow.

Turks and Caicos Islands:

No damage has been reported to date, however, information has been issued to the public as a precautionary measure.

Regional Actions

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU) has made contact with the Disaster Offices in affected States namely the Bahamas, Jamaica,and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Traditional means of communication in Haiti have been compromised and emergency modes of communication are being pursued.

Discussions are on-going with Jamaica as the Focal Point for this Sub-Region on coordination options. Countries in the Sub-region have already expressed their desire to provide support for Haiti. Other States within the Community have also indicated their willingness to provide assistance.

Search and Rescue teams from the region have been placed on stand-by and discussions are being undertaken with the United States Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) for additional support should this become necessary.

Discussions are also ongoing with PAHO as the focal point for health on the coordination of health related response actions.

The Regional Response Mechanism is now placed on stand-by.

The CDEMA CU will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as information becomes available.

For further information:

Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency

Building No. 1, Manor Lodge Complex, Lodge Hill, St. Michael

Barbados, West Indies

Tel No: (246) 425-0386, Fax No: (246) 425-8854

E-mail: cdera@caribsurf.com

Website: www.cdera.org