The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 7.6 Earthquake at a depth of 10.0 km, roughly 44 km off the east coast of the Honduran island of Great Swan, slightly after 8.50 pm local time on Tuesday 9 January 2018 (slightly after 2.50 am on Wednesday 10 January, GMT). The quake was felt across much of Central America and the western Caribbean, with reports from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cuba and Jamaica, though there are no reports of any major damage or injuries. A tsunami warning was initially issued, but later withdrawn.
The approximate location of the 9 January 2018 Honduras Earthquake. USGS.
The Earthquake occurred on the Walton Fault Zone to the east of the Mid-Cayman Spreading Zone. The Walton Fault Zone separates the Caribbean Plate, to the south, from the North American Plate to the north. The Caribbean Plate is moving eastward relative to the North American Plate, this creates stress along the margin, as the rocks of the two plates continually stick together, then break apart abruptly, creating shockwaves we experience as Earthquakes.
Plate movements and fault zones around the western Caribbean. Mike Norton/Wikimedia Commons.
Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.
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