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IPFS News Link • Natural Disasters

Mag 7.7 quake hits between Cuba and Jamaica, but no injuries

• Associated Press News By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN

The quake was centered 139 kilometers (86 miles) northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 140 kilometers (87 miles) west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It hit at 2:10 p.m. (1910 GMT) and the epicenter was a relatively shallow 10 kilometers (6 miles) beneath the surface.

Dr. Enrique Arango Arias, head of Cuba's National Seismological Service, told state media that there had been no serious damage or injuries reported on the island.

The Cayman Islands were rocked by several of the strong aftershocks that followed in the area, including one measured at magnitude 6.1. Water was cut off to much of Grand Cayman Island, and public schools were canceled for Wednesday

Gov. Carlos Joaquín González of Mexico's Quintana Roo state, which is home to Cancun, Tulum and other popular beach resorts, said the earthquake was felt in multiple parts of the low-lying Caribbean state but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned that the quake could generate waves 1 to 3 feet above normal in Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Mexico and Belize, but issued a later message saying the danger had passed.

The quake was felt strongly in Santiago, the largest city in eastern Cuba, said Belkis Guerrero, who works in a Roman Catholic cultural center in the center of Santiago

"We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move," she said. "We heard the noise of everything moving around."

She said 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.

It was also felt a little farther east at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on the southeastern coast of the island. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages, said J. Overton, a spokesman for the installation, which has a total population of about 6,000 people.

Several South Florida buildings were evacuated as a precaution, according to city of Miami and Miami-Dade County officials. No injuries or road closures were reported. No shaking was felt at the Hard Rock stadium in Miami Gardens, which will host the Super Bowl on Sunday.

In the Cayman Islands, the quake left cracked roads and what appeared to be sewage spilling from cracked mains. There were no reports of injuries or more severe damage, said Kevin Morales, editor-in-chief of the Cayman Compass newspaper. 


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