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Quake with magnitude 7.6 hits Caribbean; damage being assessed

GEORGE TOWN Cayman Islands Wednesday

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

Shaking was registered across the nation of Honduras and there were reports of cracked homes in Colon and Atlantida provinces along the northern coast and eastern Honduras, according to officials.

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

The powerful quake was initially measured at 7.8, but later revised.

Tsunami centres issued advisories for Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Jamaica and other Caribbean islands as well as on the coasts of Mexico and Central America, warning that sea levels could rise from 1ft to 3ft (0.3m to 1m) above normal, but no tsunami materialised.

No tsunami warning was immediately issued.

The quake was recorded at 9:52 p.m. EST and had a depth of about 6.2 miles.

The northern coast that was closest to the epicenter is sparsely populated.

President Juan Orlando Hernandez said authorities had activated the country's emergency system but urged people to remain calm. The tremor was about 25 miles (44 kilometers) from Honduras' Swan Islands, which are unpopulated except for small navy post.

The shallow quake was recorded at 9:51 p.m. with its epicenter 450 kilometers east of Mahahual, Quintana Roo, at 17.5 n, 83.6 w, at a depth of 33 kilometers and a magnitude of 7.5.