Major quake hits Caribbean, triggers evacuations

Major quake hits Caribbean, triggers evacuations

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


MIAMI, United States (AFP/Jamaica Observer) – A major 7.7-magnitude quake struck yesterday in the Caribbean between Jamaica and Cuba, triggering a brief tsunami alert and sending hundreds of people pouring onto the streets of Havana.

The tremors were felt as far as the US mainland as police in Miami evacuated some buildings as a precaution.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake hit at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles), at 1910 GMT 125 kilometres north-west of Lucea, Jamaica.

It estimated there was a low likelihood of casualties or damage, and there were no immediate reports of either. Hours later, a 6.1 magnitude aftershock hit off the coast of the Cayman Islands, the USGS said.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned there was a threat of tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 metres (about one to three feet) above tide level for the coasts of Jamaica, Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands. But it lifted the alert update about two hours later.

The first, bigger quake rattled several tall buildings in the Cuban capital, Havana, which were immediately evacuated.

The earthquake was felt in several provinces including Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba in the east, Cienfuegos in the centre and Havana in the north-west, the official Cubadebate website reported.

But there were no preliminary reports of damage or injuries, however.

Jawara Rawjers, a resident of Kingston, Jamaica told AFP: “I felt the house trembling and realised 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.”

Machel Emanuel, a doctor in the same city, added: “I was on the second floor of a building and there was a sustained shaking of the building. I felt dizzy. The door was slamming consistently for a while.”

Many Jamaicans took to social media in the immediate aftermath to post pictures, unverified by AFP, of swimming pools shaking violently.

Disaster coordinator for Hanover, Kenisha Stennett-Dunbar, said there were no reports of structural damage in the parish.

She said Rusea's High School, which is close to the sea, was evacuated shortly after the tsunami warning was issued.

Stennett-Dunbar said an earthquake awareness campaign is currently on between January 1 and February 29 and, as a result, a number of schools in the parish responded accordingly.

The Jamaica Observer received reports that the earthquake was felt in most of the island's 14 parishes.

In Miami, police said some buildings were being evacuated as a precaution after reports of tremors being felt in some areas of the city.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT