2009 Honduras earthquake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
2009 Honduras earthquake
Honduras quake 28 May 2009.jpg
Date May 28, 2009 (2009-05-28)
Magnitude 7.3 Mw
Depth 10 kilometres (6 mi)
Epicenter 16°43′48″N 86°12′32″W / 16.730°N 86.209°W / 16.730; -86.209
Areas affected Honduras
Tsunami none
Casualties 7 killed

The 2009 Honduras earthquake occurred on May 28 at 02:24:45 AM local time with a moment magnitude of 7.3. The epicenter was located in the Caribbean Sea, 64 kilometres (40 mi) northeast of the island of Roatán, 19 miles northeast of Port Royal, Isla de Bahias, 15 miles northwest of Isla Barbaretta, 130 kilometres (81 mi) north-northeast of La Ceiba.[1] The quake occurred at a depth of around 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) in a transform fault zone known as the Swan Islands Transform Fault in the Cayman Trench. The Cayman Trench forms the tectonic boundary between the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate, and continues onshore as the Motagua Fault and the Chixoy-Polochic Fault.

The powerful 30-second offshore quake was felt in Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, and as far as Cancún in Mexico. It was also felt in parts of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands.[1][2][3]

A tsunami watch, which was put into effect for Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize, after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning on the "possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts", was discontinued 90 minutes after the earthquake.[2]

The 7.3 Mw earthquake displayed both types of body waves, P and S, the Surface waves, Love and Rayleigh and was also followed by a 4.6 Mw quake on May 29, 2009 at 12:51:03 UTC in northern Honduras,[4] and a 4.5 Mw offshore quake on May 30, 2009 at 06:33:09 UTC.[5]

Damage reports[edit]

The earthquake damaged Democracy Bridge in El Progreso.

The earthquake caused at least 7 fatalities, 40 injured and more than 130 collapsed or damaged buildings across northern Honduras.[1] Two important bridges and a number of levees and port terminals were also seriously damaged.[6] In the Guatemalan department of Izabal, 35 buildings were destroyed and 80 damaged. In Belize at least 5 buildings were destroyed and 25 damaged. On Roatan its self, population 60, only one home damaged and one injury.[1][7]


  1. ^ a b c d USGS. "Magnitude 7.3 - OFFSHORE HONDURAS". Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  2. ^ a b BBC (2009-05-28). "Major quake strikes off Honduras". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  3. ^ Cuevas, Freddy. "7.1 earthquake topples homes, kills 6 in Honduras". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2009-05-30. [dead link]
  4. ^ USGS. "Magnitude 4.6 - HONDURAS 2009". Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  5. ^ USGS. "Magnitude 4.5 - OFFSHORE HONDURAS". Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  6. ^ "The M7.3 Honduras Earthquake of May 28, 2009. EERI Special Earthquake Report — August 2009" (PDF). EERI. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  7. ^ La Tribuna. "Seísmo destruyó 35 viviendas y dañó otras 80 en el Caribe guatemalteco". Retrieved 2009-05-29. [dead link]