Quake with magnitude 7.6 hits Caribbean; damage being assessed

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A major quake, one of the most severe in the past 100 years, struck off the coast of Honduras late Tuesday night.

A magnitude 7.6 quake registered in the Caribbean Tuesday evening, according to the United States Geological Survey.

No tsunami warning was immediately issued. The tremor struck in the sea about 125 miles north-northeast of Barra Patuca, Honduras, and 188 miles southwest of George Town, Cayman Islands.

The USGS said, "The Great Swan Island, Honduras quake occurred as the result of strike slip faulting in the shallow crust near the boundary between the North America and Caribbean plates".

Hazardous waves, between 0.3 meters and 1 meter above tide level, are forecast to hit Honduras and Belize.

Norman Grindley     Sergeant Henry Parkins of the Old Harbour Bay Police Station explaining the tsunami preparation that the station made
Norman Grindley Sergeant Henry Parkins of the Old Harbour Bay Police Station explaining the tsunami preparation that the station made

The epicenter is located off the northern coast of Honduras.

Meanwhile, the country's emergency services placed three of the country's departments on a 12-hour tsunami alert: Gracias a Dios, Colon Atlantida and Islas de la Bahia. The 2009 natural disaster, which was much closer to land, resulted in seven fatalities, 40 injuries and 130 buildings being damaged or destroyed.

The tremor occurred about 6 miles below the surface.

The reports that the 7.6 magnitude makes this one of the most powerful earthquakes to hit the Caribbean in modern day history.

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