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Tsunami advisory briefly issued for VI after strong Honduras quake

January 10th, 2018 | Tags: tsunami advisory DDM earthquake Honduras
The Caribbean was under threat of a tsunami after 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near Honduras on January 9, 2018. Photo: Getty Images/USGS
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A Tsunami advisory was briefly issued for the Virgin Islands (VI) last night, January 9, 2018 by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck 27 miles (43 kilometers) off the coast of Honduras.

According to the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, the epicenter was located at latitude 17.5 north, longitude 83.6 west or approximately 1447 miles West of Road Town, Tortola at a depth of 20 miles.

The tsunami advisory issued for the Virgin Islands was subsequently cancelled.

Tsunami advisory cancelled

According to the DDM, if an earthquake poses only a potential marine tsunami threat to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, then a Tsunami Advisory will be issued. The Puerto Rico Seismic Network is the entity responsible for issuing such advisories for the [British] Virgin Islands.

A Tsunami Advisory means that that sea level is expected to repeatedly rise and fall by as much as 1 foot (0.3 meters) to 3.3 feet (1 meter) above and below the tide level in cycles that may take from five minutes to an hour. These sea level changes will be accompanied by dangerously strong and unusual near-shore ocean currents and minor flooding of harbors and beaches. This level of tsunami impact is a hazard to swimmers, surfers, divers, and others engaging in coastal ocean recreation or work activities. It is also a hazard to persons and boats in harbours.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had also said tsunami waves were possible for several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Mexico, following the magnitude-7.6 earthquake.

"Tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 meters above the tide level are possible for some coasts of Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica," the agency said.

The earthquake struck just before 10:30 P.M. some 27 miles east of Great Swan Island, Honduras, at the relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Tsunamis can travel over 800 kilometers per hour (500 miles) at the deepest point of the water, but they slow as they near the shore, eventually hitting the shore at around 30 to 50 kph (20 to 30 mph). The energy of the wave's speed is transferred to height and sheer force as it nears shore.

24 Responses to “Tsunami advisory briefly issued for VI after strong Honduras quake”

  • DDM (10/01/2018, 08:56) Like (56) Dislike (2) Reply
    I am very disapointed with the communication with DDM regarding this Tsunami threath and practicing so many times. I find Communication of natural Desaters are very poor. Sharlene and her team need a 1,2,3 step because it appears as if they dont have any, If for any reason the Tsunami warning had develop to reality all the people living in striking Zone will be dead for lack of communication. DDM and Government need to wake the help up and stop living for them and friends. M
    aster the field you were called to do especially when you have people lifes at steak. thise positions are not joy ride positions.
    • Hill Man (10/01/2018, 09:19) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
      @DDM 100%
    • Marie (10/01/2018, 11:13) Like (29) Dislike (1) Reply
      @DDM, I 100% agree. I am just reading this now at 11:00 a.m. and would have been dead if it came last night. I am in Josiah’s Bay and cannot hear any sirens down near the beach. When there is a threat the authorities MUST come down here with car horns blowing to wake people up so we can escape. This is negligence on the highest level. We still have no electricity to even see on the road where to go at night. I will not be silent on this because I know what tsunamis do. A meeting need to be held ASAP so they will know who cannot hear these sirens.
    • Sitting ducks (10/01/2018, 19:52) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      @DDM I agree with you totally. We are like sitting ducks. Why were we not alerted on our phones as was done whenever they test the National Emergency Alert and Broadcast Systems? We have to thank the Lord that there was no tsunami and for once again sparing our lives. What will it take for the DDM to get things right and do right by us the citizens of the Virgin Islands. It is beginning to feel as though our lives do not matter. We were inadequately warned about Irma although, as I heard from a relative, a CNN news reporter was in tears when reporting about that Category 5 hurricane. People outside the Virgin Islands were aware of the severity of the storm but we were not.
      We live in both a hurricane and earthquake zone and for that reason we should have top class equipment and facilities. We should have experts who would be able to alert us and figure out how to do it in a timely manner. I don’t believe that the people of the Virgin Islands would object to having monies spent to build, equip and staff (skilled, experienced personnel is a must) such a facility. We deserve better. We should not be sitting ducks.
  • Charley Rose (10/01/2018, 09:21) Like (36) Dislike (16) Reply
    In all these natural happenings around the world we can feel assured that God is in control of our lives. Let us look to God because only He can rescue us from all the adversities. Watch and prey everyday.
  • disguss (10/01/2018, 09:24) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    why is the government so focus on airport and not about the people in this country. The Queen needs to appoint the people of the Virgin Islands who have the country at heart. Every aspect of the country have already fall apart
  • they are people like me and you (10/01/2018, 09:46) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    they are not God or prophets but I am certain they got the warning from higher orders or those more competent in that field. However warning should be given yo all especially those living in vulnerable areas and nothing is wrong in cancelling a warning. Anyway we must always be prepared and be proactive in life. Be prepared as we know not the hour day time the Lord will put in his appearance. Be ye prepared in all areas of you life.
  • @DDM (10/01/2018, 09:52) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    nothing is wrong with the warning a tsunami can hit as near Cuba or as far as T&T or any part of the world. In this world we are as close to and as far from each other please realise this
  • The Watcher (10/01/2018, 09:59) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    lord have mercy on the BVI
  • Lee (10/01/2018, 10:29) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    I had this dream last night where I and two friends were walking in an area, and my two friends were ahead of me and all of a sudden I saw them walking in waters up to their necks, and knowing that I cannot swim I just stood there watching as they attempted to walk back towards me, but I immediately woke up. But all this morning I keep asking myself what this dream meant since I had a similarly dream a few weeks ago about a body of water coming at me. This just might be the interpretation of my dream. My people let us get ready something great is about to happen, I don’t know what it is but those who are ready stay ready, those who are not ready get ready.
  • Meto. (10/01/2018, 10:45) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    There are things we should take into cconversation. The communicative system of the DDM was seriously damaged. One may argue "well we had had poor or no communication with them and others for years now" that also maybe true. We have always taken a lot of things for ganted including the many times there were drills and we ignore them or are anoyed by the very sound of the warning system at Russell Hill . Based on the weather pattern of the past few years and the fact that we are geographically located in an active earthquake zone we should always be prepared for any disaster and that message has been "preached" to us over the years. Remember the department does not have some of the sophisticated equipment some other country do there we are at the mercies of other countries who do. The best defence is to be prepared.
  • Customs Madness (10/01/2018, 11:08) Like (26) Dislike (2) Reply
    After getting up at 2am to catch my flight from the states, I arrived in St. Thomas to find the last ferry had left. The flight was late. The agent said they have a small charter boat that should be able to get us into West End. While I was apprehensive about the charter boat, 20min later we pulled up in West End.

    Our passports was collected and the captain said we will meet by Customs in Road Town to clear the boat and passangers in the morning. Everyone on the boat was BVI residence, the next thing you know We are told the head of customs ordered the captain to put everyone back on the boat and sail to Road Town!

    We all packed a boat full of luggage and 12 people back on the boat and took on rough seas and huge waves to check in Road Town. Some of the passengers had to be begged to get back on the boat. Others had small children from 3 to 8 years old.

    Now we learn in addition to the horrible weather and small craft warning, we might have been caught in the middle of a Tsunami and end up dead for what good reason? Why are not more understanding after Irma? St. Thomas has hardly no hotel rooms and what is available is $300.00 plus. Another 4-6 tourist was left in St. Thomas with a hope that the boat would come back to pick them up. My point is simple why leave locals stuck and put their lives in danger trying to get to Road Town during rough weather and why leave the very few tourist who are visiting us stuck in Stt spending money on a hotel, food and transportation in the USVI when that money could be spent in the BVI.

    We are making it hard on our own people to get home and impossible for tourist to get to the BVI even when an option exist.

    We can do better!!!
    • meto (10/01/2018, 14:50) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      See your point you and the others could have easily ended being hurt or worst. The Captain of the boat should have been given warning or be responsible enough to be monitoring marine radio. Many ships st sea will normally send out such warning once they themselves received it. I noticed though that you were brave enough to be thinking about tourism.
  • help us (10/01/2018, 12:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I dream last week that the road at the college flood with my family in mud water....god knows i fear for my life i just feel tortola is under some attack again.please let us pray on.
    • Coincidence? (10/01/2018, 13:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      OMG I had a similar dream a couple nights ago about that same place! Not kidding on this
  • True (10/01/2018, 22:00) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    I think that the government should measure and put marking on the different tsunami route hills so persons would know how high on a hill they need to go if such thing occur but anyway we just need to trust God.
    • @True (11/01/2018, 08:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Apparently you haven't been here long. The "escape " routes in case of a Tsunami are clearly erected around the Island. Furthermore ,dozens of drills have been conducted over the years. The thing is most people ignore them. This is not the first time a Tsunami warning has been issued for us. It happened several times over the past few years. I am please though that so many people are finally taking notice.
      • Gwen (11/01/2018, 17:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ @True, each time they had a drill, we found out after it was over because WE CANNOT hear the sirens where we live. I have been so furious when I found out there were drills conducted and then find out the next day in the paper. I even went to the police station to complain and here we still are not being taken seriously. I am going to fight for our rights to get a system in place to save our lives. This is so uncaring and disrespectful.
  • warning (11/01/2018, 11:12) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    God is constantly warning us. The question is what are we doing with the warning? The choice is ours serve him or reject him. Hell or heaven choose ye this day who we will serve.
  • True (11/01/2018, 18:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What are the estimated ft and inches of an high of a tsunami once it enter the island
  • wize up (12/01/2018, 09:25) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    God is still good to this territory so thank Him each and every day
  • mad as hell (14/01/2018, 19:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am mad ASAP Hell knowing that if there was a tsunami, I would have died, along with my neighbors. If there was a threat, why didn’t all forces come out blasting their horns telling people in low areas to get out? Police, Fire, Ambulances, any loud noise to wake us up. This is si irresponsible that I cannot use the words I want to use. Next time get off your backsides and warn the people, you owe it to the citizens and it is not rocket science to figure this out. Mad as Hell!


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