Studies have predicted that 2018 might be a particularly eventful earthquake year, and January has already begun with a bang in the Caribbean Sea. According to Reuters, a 7.6 quake has struck north of Honduras and was felt within the capital of Tegucigalpa and all the way to Mexico’s Quintana Roo state. As a result, a tsunami warning was issued for much of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, which is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria.
Given that the quake occurred at sea at around 10:00 pm EST, early reports indicate minimal damage on land and no injuries thus far, although ABC News notes that multiple provinces in eastern Honduras have seen some damage. However, the true risk arrived with the tsunami alert:
Tsunami centers issued advisories and warnings for Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Jamaica and other Caribbean islands as well as on the coasts of Mexico and Central America, cautioning that sea levels could rise from a foot to 3 feet (0.3 to 1 meter) above normal.
No tsunami has struck so far, which is almost a miraculous turn of events. In addition, ABC News notes that the quake’s epicenter was located near the portion of Honduras that is the least populated, and this has minimized the immediate risk of casualties. Given that the quake was a shallow one, occurring at 6.2 miles, it could have caused great damage, had it been situated closer to a heavily populated area. The “all clear” sign has not yet been issued, but hopefully soon, the affected areas can breathe a sigh of relief.