A major earthquake struck the Mexican coast a short time ago and there could be a possible tsunami threat for Hawaii according to forecasters with the National Weather Service’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. People in Hawaii should be aware of the possible threat but there is no need to take any action yet.
At 8:05 am Hawaii local time or 4:05 pm ET, a powerful 7.6 earthquake struck 23 miles southeast of Aquila, Mexico near the Colima-Michoacan border region. According to USGS, the earthquake struck at a depth of 15.1 km; the USGS believes earthquakes of this magnitude could lead to loss of life and significant economic losses. According to USGS models that have yet to be reviewed by scientists or emergency officials in Mexico, it is lost likely that there have been 10-100 fatalities and $10-100 million in damages from the earthquake. USGS also says strong aftershocks are possible here near today’s earthquake’s epicenter.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a Tsunami Information Statement to Emergency Management throughout Hawaii. “This statement is for information only. No action is required at this time,” the statement begins with. They add, “A tsunami threat exists for parts of the Pacific located closer to the earthquake but it is still too early to determine whether there is a possible tsunami threat to Hawaii.”
“If there is a tsunami threat to Hawaii, the earliest estimated time the hazard might begin is 3:19 pm”, the statement adds. “Further statements will be issued hourly or sooner as the situation develops.”
While a threat to Hawaii is possible, the National Weather Service’s Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska does not believe there is a threat to the U.S. West Coast, British Columbia, or Alaska. In an update they just released, experts there say, ” There is no tsunami danger for the U.S. West Coast, British Columbia, or Alaska. Based on earthquake information and historic tsunami records, the earthquake is not expected to generate a tsunami.” They do add, though, that Pacific coastal regions outside of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska should refer to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for additional messages with regards to this tsunami threat.