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First tsunami wave in recent history hits Cayman

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Honduras Tuesday night (9 January) sent a tsunami wave toward the Cayman Islands, raising sea levels more than a half-foot.

It was the first tsunami wave in recent history to hit the Cayman Islands, according to Hazard Management Cayman Islands. No damage was reported.

The quake happened around 9:52 p.m. Tuesday (9 January). The epicenter was located 191 miles southwest of Grand Cayman and is estimated to have been at a depth of six miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Original reports from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center listed the depth at 20 miles.

Several dozen Cayman Islands residents reported to the USGA they felt the quake. Most reports came from residents living in the West Bay area.

About five minutes after the quake, the US Tsunami Warning System issued a tsunami threat advisory for countries within 1,000 miles of the epicenter, including Cayman.

At 10:40 p.m. — about 45 minutes after the quake — the tsunami monitoring gauge in George Town detected a seven-inch rise in sea level, which Hazard Management Cayman Issues confirmed was a tsunami wave.

Cayman was removed from the next US Tsunami Threat Advisory, which was issued about a minute later.

HMCI gave their all-clear around midnight.

About the author

Kevin Morales

Kevin Morales

Cayman 27 News Director Kevin Morales is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience. Kevin is a Milwaukee, Wis., native. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2005 from the University of Minnesota. He's a proud father and a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and U of M Golden Gophers.

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