Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Major 7.7 magnitude quake hits Carribean



Major 7.7 magnitude quake hits Carribean

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
7.7 magnitude quake in the Caribbean Sea (AFP Photo/Nicolas RAMALLO)

Major 7.7 magnitude quake hits Carribean

A major 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck on Tuesday 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, where police in Miami evacuated some buildings as a precaution.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at a depth of 10km at 2:10pm (1910 GMT) – 125km northwest 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, part of a cluster of more than a dozen aftershocks which were mainly in the four-to-five magnitude range and lasted well into the evening, the USGS said.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned there was a threat of tsunami waves reaching 0.3m to 1m 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.

“There was no major material damage, only some cracks in homes in the municipalities closest to the epicentre such as Niquero and Pilon [in Cuba’s Granma province],” National Seismological Service head Enrique Arango Arias told Florida-based daily El Nuevo Herald.

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

But there were no preliminary reports of damage or injuries.

Jawara Rawjers, a resident of Kingston, Jamaica said: “I felt the house trembling and realised that it was a quake.

“It lasted about 20 seconds. I checked my watch and it was 2:12pm. 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. I felt dizzy. The door was slamming consistently for a while.”

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

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Covid in Kingdom hits ‘critical point’

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia has reached a critical point, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned, as cases surge with two more deaths and 265 infections reported over the weekend. On March 28 alone, the Ministry of Health recorded 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia set for large-scale vaccination campaign as Covid spreads

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed all provincial authorities to get ready for a large-scale vaccination campaign, with at least one million doses to be administered per month. “We will roll out at least one million doses. The vaccines we have purchased and received as

  • Covid-19 spreads in Kingdom, infects more children

    The Ministry of Health on March 28 reported another 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20 community outbreak. Among them, two are Chinese and the rest are Cambodian. Preah Sihanouk province recorded the most cases at 43, followed by the capital at 25; three each in Tbong Khmum, Svay