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7.6 magnitude earthquake shakes the Caribbean Sea, tsunami threat diminishes

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
January 10, 2018, 2:22:46 PM EST

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A magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook the Caribbean Sea early Tuesday night. The earthquake occurred west of Jamaica at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 km).

The earthquake triggered tsunami warnings for areas within 621 miles (1,000 km) of the quake's epicenter.

However, all tsunami advisories were canceled throughout the Caribbean and Central America later on Tuesday night.

No damage has been reported from this event, despite the high magnitude and several strong aftershocks.

“We have reports that it was felt in the majority of the country, but we don’t have reports of damage,” said Lizandro Rosales, director of Honduras’ contingencies commission.

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Hazardous tsunami waves up to 3.3 feet (1 meter) above tide level were possible for some coasts of Honduras and Belize, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC).

Smaller changes in sea levels were possible for other areas in the Caribbean, including Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, Belize, Honduras and Cayman Islands.

Quickly receding water was observed along the shores of Belize shortly after the earthquake. Some reports indicate the water has receded up to 10 feet.

However, the National Weather Service Pacific Tsunami Warning Center indicated that "there is no longer a tsunami threat from this earthquake" by 10:48 p.m. CDT Tuesday.


Tuesday night's earthquake was stronger than the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010.

Two aftershocks have occurred since the original earthquake, at magnitudes 4.3 and 4.5. Both were recorded within 50 kilometers of the original epicenter.

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