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10 Jan, 2018 03:07

7.6 quake triggers warning of 1m tsunami waves across the Caribbean

7.6 quake triggers warning of 1m tsunami waves across the Caribbean

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake has struck in the Caribbean Sea north of Honduras, briefly triggering multiple tsunami warnings in the area, including for the coasts of Honduras, Belize, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The powerful quake, which was felt across the region from Mexico to the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, struck some 36km northeast of Great Swan Island around 2:51am GMT, according to US Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued alert of possible waves up to one meter above tide level in Honduras, Belize, Cuba, Mexico and Jamaica. However, after detecting the formation of the waves, the PTWC concluded that “based on observed data there is no threat” and lifted some of its earlier warnings.

Still the PTWC is advising residents of coastal areas to watch out for “small sea level changes.” The agency projected that the “earliest estimated time that hazardous sea level fluctuations and strong ocean currents may begin” is after 5:20am GMT (1:20am Atlantic Standard Time).

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also lifted its multiple tsunami advisories for the shoreline of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where it earlier said waves of up to 0.3 meters were possible with a threat of “fluctuations and strong ocean currents that could be a hazard along coasts … beaches … in harbors … and in coastal waters.”

There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage from the shallow quake, which had a depth of just 10 kilometers. The director of Honduras’ contingencies commission confirmed that the quake was felt “in the majority” of the country with no reports of damage, Reuters reports. Meanwhile Belize’s Emergencies Minister urged residents of low coastal areas to stay vigilant for potential danger.