A 7.7 magnitude earthquake hits Carribean Sea, followed by a series of strong aftershocks, shook a large stretch from Florida to Mexico on Tuesday but apparently caused no major damage or casualties.
The initial tremor struck at 2:10 p.m. Eastern Time and was centred 86 miles northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 87 miles west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake’s depth was relatively shallow at 6 miles beneath the surface.
The earthquake was felt in several provinces including Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba in the east, Cienfuegos in the centre and Havana in the northwest, the official Cubadebate website reported.
There were no preliminary reports of damage or injuries, however, and once the initial alarm had passed, people were allowed back into the buildings that had evacuated.
The US Geological Survey reported the 7.7 magnitude quake hit at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles), at 1910 GMT — 125 kilometres northwest of Lucea, Jamaica.
A Caribbean-wide tsunami warning was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center but lifted about two hours later. And Cuba’s Seismology Service said there was no danger of a tsunami on the island.
Claude Diedrick, 71, who owns a fencing business in Montego Bay, said the shaking felt “like I was on a bridge and like there were two or three heavy trucks and the bridge was rocking, but there were no trucks.”
The quake was also felt strongly in the coastal city of Santiago, in the eastern part of Cuba.
“We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move,” said Belkis Guerrero, who works in a Catholic cultural centre in Santiago. “We heard the noise of everything moving around.
(With inputs from agency)