The coastline of Belize
follows the “Swan Fracture Fault” which is between the North American and Caribbean
Plates. The Swan Fracture Fault can rupture from 300 to 500
kilometres in length thus causing major
A tsunami could be caused by a major earthquake along the
Swan Fracture Fault, or even by earthquakes hundreds
to thousands of kilometers out to sea.
rated with a moderate chance of having a major earthquake within 50
years. Recently earthquakes have been more common in southern and western Belize.
In the first earthquake for 25
years, on May 28th 2009, Belize suffered from a 7.1 strong earthquake that struck off
the coast of Belize and Honduras. Damage was moderate
with five homes collapsing and severe or moderate damage to many
others. Many wooden shacks on stilts sunk several feet into ground. In Monkey
River, gaping holes were formed up to four feet (over a meter) deep. A water tower toppled in
the town of Independence and electricity was out all the way to the Mexican
Belize is tsunami prone, and
at least 10 significant tsunami's have affected Belize over the 520 years since 1492, one
every 52 years.
Tsunami's are high and
long lasting waves caused by undersea earthquakes. Tsunami's drive a wall of water far inland
like a very fast flowing river. The waves can be up to 40 foot or more
high. Tsunami's will level many buildings and sweep away and drown people and
The best way to avoid
Tsunami's is to not live on exposed coastlines.
In the event of an earth
tremor listen to the radio or television for tsunami warnings. Move inland to higher ground
to avoid the effects of tsunami's.