Tsunami Alert Cancelled for Jamaica

Photo: JIS Photographer

On January 9th, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake occurred between the Coast of Honduras and the Cayman Islands. The epicenter was located at latitude 17.5 north, longitude 83.6 west at a depth of 20 miles. A tsunami threat message was issued for Jamaica but was later cancelled.

The Earthquake Unit reported that although the threat was minimal, this was a regionally generated message received from the Pacific Warning Tsunami Center. The effects of it could have been felt minutes after the earthquake occurred. Because Jamaica is located in a seismically active zone, we are susceptible to earthquakes Tsunamis and due to the nature of this early onset hazard, there is sometimes not enough time for officials to raise an alarm or warn coastal communities so we are asking Jamaicans to know the signs and act accordingly. In an event of a Tsunami you man not feel an earthquake but if you see the sea withdraw an unusual distance and/or hear a loud rumble/roar, get to higher ground.

What is a Tsunami Advisory

A tsunami advisory is issued due to the threat of a potential tsunami which may produce strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or near the water. Coastal regions historically prone to damage due to strong currents induced by tsunamis are at the greatest risk. The threat may continue for several hours after the arrival of the initial wave, but significant widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Appropriate actions to be taken by local officials may include closing beaches, evacuating harbors and marinas, and the repositioning of ships to deep waters when there is time to safely do so. Advisories are normally updated to continue the advisory, expand/contract affected areas, upgrade to a warning, or cancel the advisory.

Additionally the Office of Disaster preparedness & Emergency Management is reminding the Public that during an earthquake it is important to stay calm. If you are inside a building, get under a sturdy desk, cover your head and hold on. If you are outdoors, go to an open area away from trees, buildings, utility poles and wires.

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