Magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes Caribbean

Key Points
  • An earthquake struck the Caribbean Tuesday evening, according to the United States Geological Survey
  • Originally assessed as a magnitude 7.8, the quake was later downgraded to 7.6 by authorities
Location of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Caribbean on Jan 9, 2018.
Source: USGS

A strong earthquake struck the Caribbean Tuesday evening, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, initially reported as a magnitude 7.8, was centered 125 miles (202 km) northeast of Barra Patuca in Honduras and 191 miles (307 km) southwest of George Town in the Cayman Islands.

The quake was very shallow, at only 6.2 miles (10 km), which would have amplified its effect.

A tsunami advisory was in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after the quake, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, but subsequent model forecasts indicated no tsunami threat to those areas.

Hazardous tsunami waves were originally deemed "possible" for coasts of Jamaica, Mexico, Honduras, Cuba, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala and more — but U.S. authorities subsequently concluded there was no such threat to the region.

The earthquake rattled windows in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa roughly 323 miles to the southwest, but no damage was immediately reported.

It was also lightly felt in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo north of Honduras, according to Mexico's civil protection director.

The tremors were felt in Belize's capital, Belize City, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

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

—CNBC's Ted Kemp and Reuters contributed to this report.

Correction: This story was revised to correct Tegucigalpa's direction from the center of the earthquake.