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Magnitude 7.6 Quake Off Honduras Coast Triggers Tsunami Advisories

Magnitude 7.6 Quake Off Honduras Coast Triggers Tsunami Advisories

Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 - 06:00

A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit off Honduras late Tuesday, triggering tsunami threats and advisories for parts of the Caribbean, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake's epicenter was located some 44 kilometers east of Great Swan Island, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). It was provisionally considered to be shallow.

The Honduran emergency management agency known as COPECO issued a 10-hour tsunami alert for three coastal departments.

President Juan Orlando Hernandez said authorities had activated the country's emergency system but urged people to remain calm.

"Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1,000 kilometers of the earthquake epicenter," the US National Weather Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

But it later lifted the warning.

Tsunami advisories, which are a level below "warnings" were issued for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Belize and Jamaica meanwhile were issued "threat" warnings of waves between 0.3 to one meter (a foot to 3.3 feet) high.

The USGS's PAGER algorithm assigned the event a "green alert," meaning a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

"Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist," it said. 

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