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USGS: Magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes off Honduras coast

World News
Wed, 10 Jan 2018
AFP


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

The quake struck at 0251 GMT and its epicentre was located some 27 miles (44 kilometres) 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 kilometres of the earthquake epicentre," the US National Weather Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said. But it later said the tsunami threat had passed.

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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