Magnitude 7.6 Earthquake Strikes Off Central America, USGS Says

CENTRAL AMERICA (CBS News) — The United States Geological Service (USGS) said that a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between the coast of Honduras and the Cayman Islands. The Tuesday evening quake has sparked a tsunami advisory in the area, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC).

PTWC said hazardous tsunami waves from this quake are possible within 620 miles (1,000 km) of the epicenter along the coasts of: Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Honduras, Cuba, Belize, San Andres, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The quake was centered about 125.4 miles north/northeast off the coast of Barra Patucca, Honduras. No reports of damage was immediately reported.

USGS said the quake was very shallow (6.2 miles) which amplifies its effect.180109-usgs-honduras-quake-01.jpg

The National Weather Service in Puerto Rico urged “persons located in/near the ocean” to move away from the water, off the beach and away from the harbor:

The Associated Press writes that the northern coast of Honduras closet to the epicenter is sparsely populated — much of it covered by nature reserves. Some in the capital of Tegucigalpa said they did not feel the quake.

President Juan Orlando Hernandez wrote on Twitter that Honduras activated its emergency system and asked people to remain calm.

USGS originally documented the earthquake as magnitude 7.8.