The USGS said, "The Great Swan Island, Honduras natural disaster occurred as the result of strike slip faulting in the shallow crust near the boundary between the North America and Caribbean plates".
The US Geological Survey said the quake was 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.
There are no early reports of damage on land, but the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center warns of tsunami dangers in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, other islands and the coast of Central America. The tremor occurred about 6 miles (10 kilometers) below the surface. Authorities from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and the Virgin Islands activated tsunami warnings.
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The northern coast of Honduras closest to the quake's epicenter is sparsely populated, with much of it covered by nature reserves. The tremor was about 25 miles (44 kilometers) from Honduras' Swan Islands, which are unpopulated except for small navy post.
Tuesday's quake was one of the largest to hit the Caribbean in recorded history.
In May 2009, a magnitude 7.3 quake occurred along the Swan Island transform fault approximately 300 km west of the January 9, 2018 event.