Magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes off Central America

By Sara Shayanian  |  Jan. 10, 2018 at 7:13 AM
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Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Central America late Tuesday night and briefly prompted a tsunami warning for several islands in the Caribbean, officials said.

The National Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 125 miles north of Barra Patucca, Honduras, about 25 miles from the Great Swan Islands. It measured a magnitude of 7.6, the USGS said.

There were no reports of serious damage of casualties after the earthquake hit shortly before 10 p.m. on Tuesday. There were reports of cracks in homes along the northern coast and Olancho in eastern Honduras.

A tsunami warning was issued for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

The National Weather Service in Puerto Rico advised residents located near the ocean to "move out of the waters, off the beach and away from the harbor."

The Great Swan Island earthquake was caused by a strike slip faulting in the shallow crust near the boundary between the North America and Caribbean plates, the USGS said.

The quake was shallow, at only 6.2 miles, which would have amplified its effect.

Over the past century, nine other earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater have occurred within nearly 250 miles of Tuesday's quake.

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