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BREAKING: Major Earthquake strikes between Honduras and Cuba

Quake triggers Tsunami warnings for Puerto Rico, Mexican coast, Cuba, US Virgin Islands

Map showing Earthquake epicenter. Source USGS.

A powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the Yucatan Basin, near the Gulf of Honduras at 9:52pm Eastern Standard Time (02.52 UTC). The quake depth was estimated to be 6.2 miles (10km).  Since this was a sea-based quake, there were a series of tsumami advisories posted for various places around the epicenter of the quake.  However, many of these advisories have since been canceled.

This was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in this region of the world.

At this time (11:18 EST / 04:18 UTC) no wave activity has been observed yet.  Strike times start at 12:23AM EST and run till 2:12am EST dependent on location.  Mexico and Cuba are also in the strike zone, and possible heights of tsunami waves are forecast between 10cm and 1 meter (about 4 inches to 3 feet).  This is a standard range forecast, which is why it is so imprecise.

Since the island warnings have been canceled, this situation may not be a threat, but there still remain advisories in place for Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Belize and Jamaica.

UPDATE: As of 9:08 AM UTC, all tsunami warnings were canceled.  Despite the shallowness of the quake (now commonly tagged at 10km) and its strength – many times more powerful than the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed 200,000 people in Haiti in 2010. This quake was some distance off the coast of Belize and Honduras, but it was strong enough to crack walls and rattle windows and set power lines to swaying.

Great Swan Island, where a small Honduran naval base resides, is 25 miles from the epicenter of the quake.  There have been no reports thus far from this island as to what happened there.

We will carry updates as the situation unfolds.

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