09:45 GMT24 February 2020
Listen Live
    Latin America
    Get short URL
    0 2015
    Subscribe

    The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported a powerful, 7.7-magnitude earthquake in the strait between Jamaica and Cuba on Tuesday afternoon. A tsunami warning was issued for Jamaica, Cuba, Belize, Honduras and the Cayman Islands, but that threat has now passed.

    The earthquake was reported at a depth of 10 kilometers, 117 kilometers northwest of Lucea, Jamaica. It was initially reported as a 7.3-magnitude but was quickly upgraded to a 7.7-magnitude.

    ​A tsunami warning was immediately issued by the International Tsunami Information Center for the surrounding areas of Jamaica, Cuba, Belize, Honduras, and the Cayman Islands with a potential height of 1 meter. The Cayman Islands Disaster Management Agency issued a warning for population in coastal and low-lying areas to "evacuate vertically" as a precaution.

    ​Residents of Jamaica's capital, Kingston, on the far side of the island reported on the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) website they felt a strong quake that lasted between 30 and 40 seconds.

    The quake was reportedly felt as far away as the Mexican coastline. One person who said they were from Othon Blanco in Quintana Roo state wrote: "As I was laying on my bed I started to see how all the plants started to move and the bed moved it just felt really strange because the whole hotel was moving just a little bit and I could see the water in the glass moving. But normally this is not something that happens here."

    Videos from Jamaica reportedly show just how far the quake threw water from a nearby swimming pool, and another of a pool swaying in the quake:

    ​Another video seems to show earth liquified by the quake, partially swallowing a car. on the nearby island of Grand Cayman.

    One Twitter user in Miami, Florida, reported light shaking, posting a video of swinging hanging lamps in their apartment. Some tall buildings in the city were also reportedly temporarily evacuated when the shaking was felt.

    ​Flights into Montego Bay and Kingston airports were briefly placed in a holding pattern while the runways were inspected for damage, but arrivals have since resumed.

    A magnitude-6.1 aftershock was reported by the USGS close to the Cayman Islands a little more than two hours after the initial quake.​​​

    The earthquake is one of the strongest to have ever hit Jamaica, possibly the strongest ever. Past destructive quakes have included the deadly 1907 quake that hit Kingston, estimated at magnitude 6.5, and the catastrophic 1692 quake that submerged the old city of Kingston, which is judged to have been roughly a 7.5-magnitude quake.
    Tags:
    earthquake, Jamaica
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook