Tuesday 11 August 2020

Magnitude 5.7 Earthquake beneath the Gulf of Honduras.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.7 Earthquake at a depth of 10.0 km, beneath the Gulf of Honduras, roughly 40 km to the north of the Honduran island of Guanaja, slightly before 8.15 am local time (slightly before 2.15 pm GMT) on Monday 10 August 2020. The quake was felt across much of northern Honduras, Belize, and the eastern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, though there are no reports of any major damage or injuries.

The approximate location of the 10 August 2020 Gulf of Honduras Earthquake. USGS.

The Earthquake occurred on the Swan Island Transform Fault, which separates the North American Plate to the North from the Caribbean Plate to the South. The Swan Island Transform Fault runs from Guatemala in the west to the Mid-Cayman Spreading centre in the east, with the Caribbean Plate moving eastward relative to the North American Plate. This creates stress along the margin, as the rocks of the two plates continually stick together, then break apart abruptly, creating shockwaves we experience as Earthquakes.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.
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