Strong earthquake prompts tsunami threat message in Caribbean, Mexico

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The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves were possible for several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Mexico, after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck 27 miles (43 kilometers) off the coast of Honduras.

"Tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 meters above the tide level are possible for some coasts of Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica," the agency said.

The earthquake struck 44 kilometers east of Great Swan Island, Honduras, at the relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

What appeared to be the periodic wail of a tsunami warning system was heard throughout a 10-minute a video posted to Facebook by Edison Usher. In the clip, Usher says he was standing near a taxi stand less than 200 meters from the shore in Belize City.

"Check on your family members that live close to the sea," he says during the video. "Don't take nothing for granted."

Tsunamis can travel over 800 kilometers per hour (500 miles) at the deepest point of the water, but they slow as they near the shore, eventually hitting the shore at around 30 to 50 kph (20 to 30 mph). The energy of the wave's speed is transferred to height and sheer force as it nears shore.

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