HAVANA — A powerful magnitude-7.7 earthquake struck Tuesday in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and eastern Cuba, shaking a vast area from Mexico to Florida and beyond.
The quake was centered 86 miles northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 87 miles west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It hit Tuesday afternoon, and the epicenter was a relatively shallow 6 miles beneath the surface.
Dr. Enrique Arango Arias, head of Cuba’s National Seismological Service, told state media outlets that there had been no serious damage or injuries reported.
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.
It was also felt a little farther east at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay 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 population of about 6,000 people.
Several south Florida buildings were evacuated as a precaution, according to Miami and Miami-Dade County officials. No injuries or road closures had been reported.
The quake also hit the Cayman Islands, leaving cracked roads and what appeared to be sewage spilling from cracked mains. There were no immediate reports of deaths, injuries or more severe damage, said Kevin Morales, editor-in-chief of the Cayman Compass newspaper.
Dr. Stenette Davis, a psychiatrist at a Cayman Islands hospital, said she saw manhole covers blown off by the force of the quake, and sewage exploding into the street, but no more serious damage.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake could generate waves 1 to 3 feet above normal in Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Mexico and Belize.
Print Headline: 7.7 earthquake shakes up area in Caribbean