Poster of the Honduras Earthquake of 28 May 2009 - Magnitude 7.3

Tectonic Summary

The location and focal mechanism of the Honduras earthquake of May 28, 2009, imply that the shock occurred as the result of left-lateral strike-slip faulting on the Swan Islands Transform Fault, a segment of the boundary between the North America and Caribbean plates. In this region the plate boundary accommodates about 20 mm/y slip.

Previous strong earthquakes along the North America/Caribbean plate boundary include the destructive Guatemala earthquake of February 4, 1976, M 7.5, which produced more than 23,000 fatalities. The 1976 earthquake occurred on the Motagua fault, a segment of the plate boundary that lies in southern Guatemala, several hundred kilometers southwest of the plate boundary that ruptured in the May 28, 2009 shock.

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