A powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit the Caribbean between Jamaica and Cuba on Tuesday, triggering a brief tsunami alert. Hundreds of people were immediately evacuated from the streets of Havana. The Cayman Islands at George Town recorded a tsunami of 0.4 feet, but no tsunami was witnessed at Port Royal, Jamaica, or Puerto Plata, Domain Republic.
The US Geological survey informed about a 6.1 magnitude aftershock hit off the coast of the Cayman Islands. The survey department said the earthquake hit at a depth of 10 kilometers at 19.10 GMT, 125 kilometers northwest of Lucea, Jamaica.
The National Weather Service’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PWTC) said, “Based on all available data, there is no significant tsunami threat from this (6.1) earthquake. However, there is a very small possibility of tsunami waves along coasts located nearest the epicenter.”
The PWTC earlier warned that “hazardous tsunami waves” were possible for coasts located within 300 km of the earthquake’s epicenter. Later, the PWTC withdrew the warnings on Tuesday afternoon.
Buildings shook, and tremors felt across the Caribbean, but there were no preliminary reports of damage or injuries. Offices located in Miami and parts of Jamaica were temporarily evacuated. Police in Miami said the buildings were evacuated as a precaution after reports of tremors triggered in some other areas of the city.
Jawara Rawjers, a resident of Kingston, Jamaica told sources, “I felt the house trembling and realized that it was a quake. “It lasted about 20 seconds. I checked my watch and it was 2:12 pm. I checked on my family but they didn’t feel anything in their part of the house.”
The earthquake was also felt in Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos, and Havana. People in the Cuban capital were removed from taller buildings. Many Jamaicans posted pictures and videos on social media capturing the shaking offices and swimming pools violently.