Caribbean Sea earthquake shakes Central America


A strong earthquake in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday evening has shaken the Central American countries of Honduras, Belize and Mexico.

The quake, measuring 7.6, struck near remote islands belonging to Honduras. It was felt in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, some 519km away to the east, and as far north as Quintana Roo, a state in Mexico, with tremors also felt in Belize’s capital, Belize City.

There were no reports of damage, although the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre initially issued a warning that tsunami waves of up to 1-meter above tide level could hit parts of Honduras, Belize, Puerto Rico and the US and the British Virgin Islands. The advisories were, however, withdrawn about two hours after the quake, as the centre said the threat had passed.

The quake, initially reported by the US Geological Survey as a magnitude 7.8, was centred about 202km northeast of Barra Patuca in Honduras, and 307km southwest of George Town in the Cayman Islands. It was a shallow quake, at a depth of 10km, which is believed to have amplified its effect.

Edmond Castro, Belize’s minister in charge of emergency management, spoke on local radio and urged people living in low-lying coastal areas and islands to stay alert for dangerous waves.