Four moderate to strong earthquakes struck western Haiti today, killing at least one person and injuring more; however, at this time, there does not appear to be a tsunami threat from these earthquakes across the Caribbean, the Bahamas, or the U.S. East Coast at this time. A 5.3, a 4.4, a 5.1, and a 4.3 earthquake all struck within a two hour window today near Anse-a-Veau and Petite Riviere de Nippes, Haiti.
Reuters reports that one person was dead, numerous people were wounded, and numerous houses have been destroyed around Fond des Nègres in the Department of Nippes.
Today’s series of earthquakes comes after a 4.3 earthquake struck northwest Haiti yesterday. It also comes after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the same Tiburon Peninsula on August 14 last year; that earthquake killed more than 2,200 people and injured more than 12,000. The 2021 earthquake generated a minor regional tsunami.
It appears today’s earthquakes have not been strong enough to generate a tsunami. An earthquake that struck northwest of Puerto Rico yesterday, roughly 400 miles east-north-east of today’s earthquakes in Haiti, did prompt the National Weather Service Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (NWS-PTWC) in Honolulu, Hawaii, to issue a bulletin. At 7:53 pm ET last night , a 4.0 earthquake struck roughly 28 miles northwest of San Antonio, Puerto Rico at a depth of 10 km. But as with today’s earthquake, there was no tsunami threat.
“Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the British Virgin Islands from this earthquake,” the NWS-PTWC said in their bulletin last night . They add that people may have experienced shaking from the quake.
“This will be the only statement issued for this event unless additional data are received or the situation changes,” the NWS-PTWC wrote. “Information regarding any tsunami threat to U.S. Gulf of Atlantic Coasts will be issued by the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center.”
No bulletin was issued by the Tsunami Warning Centers today, even though the Haiti earthquakes were substantially stronger than yesterday’s Puerto Rico earthquake.
Haiti is no stranger to severe earthquakes. A catastrophic 7.0 earthquake struck 16 miles west of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince in 2010. According to the Haitian government, roughly 220,000-316,000 people were killed while 250,000 homes and 30,000 businesses collapsed or were severely damaged. All in all, roughly 3 million people were directly impacted by that earthquake.
These earthquakes are occurring near the northern edge of the Caribbean Plate, a mostly oceanic tectonic plate underlying Central America and the Caribbean Sea off of the north coast of South America. The Caribbean Plate borders the North American Plate, the South American Plate, the Nazca Plate, and the Cocos Plate. The borders of these plates are home to ongoing seismic activity, including frequent earthquakes, occasional tsunamis, and sometimes even volcanic eruptions.