A powerful earthquake in the sea between Jamaica and Cuba triggered a tsunami warning for parts of the Caribbean.
The powerful tremor struck 72 miles (117 km) northwest of the coastal town of Lucea at a relatively shallow depth of around six miles (10 km), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
The International Tsunami Information Center warned that “hazardous tsunami waves” could occur “within 186 miles (300 km) of the epicenter along the coasts of Jamaica… Cayman Islands and Cuba.”
Image: Office workers left buildings when the earthquake struck
It said waves of up to three feet (1m) could also land on the coasts of Mexico, Belize and Honduras, before announcing the tsunami warning had passed around 90 minutes later.
“The tsunami threat has now largely passed,” the centre said.
The quake was centred in the sea, 86 miles (139 km) northwest of Montego Bay and around the same distance from Niquero, Cuba.
It was initially measured at 7.3 magnitude before being upgraded.
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Buildings shook in Miami, the Miami Herald newspaper reported, while several South Florida buildings were being evacuated as a precaution, city officials said.
No injuries or road closures have been reported.
in Cuba, officials said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The quake could be felt strongly in Santiago, according to Belkis Guerrero, who works in the centre of the city.
“We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move. We heard the noise of everything moving around,” she said, adding that there was no apparent damage in the heart of the colonial city.
“It felt very strong but it doesn’t look like anything happened,” she told The Associated Press.
There were no reports of deaths, injuries or damage to buildings on the Cayman Islands, a spokeswoman for the territory’s Disaster Management Agency said.
But there were reports of sinkholes appearing around the islands, the agency added, as it urged people to “evacuate vertically” in strong multi-storey buildings.
Dr Stenette Davis, said she had seen manhole covers blown off by the force of the quake, and sewage exploding into the street, but no more serious damage.
There are so few earthquakes on the Cayman Islands, staff in the Cayman Compass newspaper were puzzled when it hit, editor-in-chief Kevin Morales said.
“It was just like a big dump truck was rolling past. Then it continued and got more intense.”
Source : Sky News