Reports are coming in that a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean sea. As a result, tsunami warnings were issued for the nearby islands, including the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. These warnings have now been lifted.
According to the Daily Mail, this tremor is one of the largest to hit the Caribbean in recorded history. It came on Tuesday night at about 9:51 pm, about 25 miles from the coast of Great Swan Island, belonging to Honduras. The earthquake had a massive depth of 6.2 miles and shook numerous Central American nations.
CNN reports that Juan Jose Reyes, the Director of Early Warning Systems of the Honduran disaster prevention agency COPECO, warned people from coastal areas of possible danger ahead, especially if the tide suddenly draws out. He then warned locals to pay close attention to alerts coming from authorities.
He claims that his warning wasn't to scare or cause a panic, but rather to inform people so that objective measures can be taken to save lives. He hopes the warnings early on will alert people to possible danger and will help encourage them to listen to orders coming from authorities.
"Check on your family members that live close to the sea," remarked Reyes. "Don't take nothing for granted."
Several residents of the Belizian city were evacuated to inland areas in case the tsunami hit, according to CNN. Many residents have been ordered by authorities to evacuate their homes.
Tsunamis have the potential to travel 500 miles per hour at the deepest point of the water. They can also slow as they near shore, eventually hitting at around 30 miles per hour.
USA News reports that the tsunami warnings were lifted on Tuesday morning. They also report that no major damages were reported as a result of the earthquake. Nevertheless, much of the country felt shaking and there were numerous reports of cracks in homes, especially along the northern coast and the Olancho province along the eastern coast.
To put into perspective the magnitude of this earthquake, it was the absolute largest quake to hit the Caribbean in recorded history. In 2010, the quake that devastated Haiti was a magnitude 7.0.
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