An earthquake measuring 7.5 stuck the Caribbean on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, near 17.469°N 83.520°, or Great Swan Island, Honduras. The earthquake was felt as far away as Cozumel, Mexico and occurred as the result of strike slip faulting in the shallow crust near the boundary between the North America and Caribbean plates at a depth of 10 kilometers.
Early focal mechanism solutions indicate that rupture occurred on a steeply dipping structure striking either west-northwest (right-lateral), or west-southwest (left-lateral). At the location of this earthquake, the North America plate moves to the west-southwest with respect to the Caribbean plate at a rate of approximately 19 mm/yr. Local to the January 10, 2018 earthquake, this motion is predominantly accommodated along the Swan Islands transform fault, a left-lateral structure.
The location, depth and focal mechanism solution of today’s earthquake are consistent with rupture occurring along this plate boundary structure, or on a nearby and closely related fault.
Direction data (below) indicate the position of the event relative to the place.
- Barra Patuca, Honduras 201.9 km (125.5 mi) NNE Population: 2,758
- Puerto Lempira, Honduras 245.2 km (152.4 mi) N Population: 4,856
- George Town, Cayman Islands 303.1 km (188.3 mi) SW Population: 29,370
- West Bay, Cayman Islands 305.7 km (190.0 mi) SW Population: 11,269
- Bodden Town, Cayman Islands 312.0 km (193.8 mi) SW Population: 10,341
Video: USGS: Magnitude 7.6 Earthquake Strikes In Caribbean Sea North Of Honduras