USGS: Magnitude-7.0 Earthquake Hits off Haiti
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A strong earthquake with a confirmed magnitude of 7.0 occurred on Tuesday near Haiti, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported.
The epicenter was just 15 kilometers southwest of Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to a statement on the USGS website.
The quake struck at about 4:53 PM local time (2153 GMT), the USGS said.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a local tsunami watch following the quake, but ruled out the possibility of a destructive widespread tsunami threat.
"A destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," said a statement on the center's official website.
"However, there is the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than 100 kilometers from the earthquake epicenter," it said.
"Authorities for the region near the epicenter should be aware of this possibility. Areas further from the epicenter could experience small sea level changes and strong or unusual coastal currents," it added.
(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2010)