An earthquake of magnitude 7.7 was recorded in the Caribbean sea, between Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands at a depth of 10 kilometers, around 20:10 Italian time (14:10 local time) on Tuesday 28 January.
According to reports from the United States Geological Survey (Usgs), the US federal agency that deals with the detection of earthquakes, the epicenter of the earthquake was about 125 kilometers from the coast of Lucea , a city of Jamaica. After the shock, a tsunami warning was issued covering six countries- Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Belize, Cayman Islands and Jamaica – then returned.
Also in the area, a second 6.5 magnitude earthquake was subsequently recorded off the Cayman Islands. To date, there is no news of damage and / or injuries in the regions concerned.
At first, in fact, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned about the possibility of “dangerous waves“, and therefore tsunamis, on the coasts within 300 kilometers of the earthquake’s epicenter.
The alarm was then lifted shortly thereafter. As reported by the BBC , in fact, quoting the seismologist Lucy Jones,” the Jamaican earthquake produced a lateral movement on the fault, therefore the risk of a tsunami is low “.
Large M7.7 Caribbean Quake Felt as Far Away as Florida. Click here for more details: https://t.co/rQEYyPlqFR pic.twitter.com/fHK1qQ1LN1
— USGS (@USGS) January 29, 2020
The M7.7 Jamaican quake produced sideways motion on the fault, so the tsunami risk is low. (Seafloor should move up to make tsunami.) But if I’m ever at the beach and feel strong shaking, I move to high ground. Downside is I lose a day at the beach. The upside could be my life.
— Dr. Lucy Jones (@DrLucyJones) January 28, 2020
However, the earthquake was so powerful that it was also felt strongly in the capital of Cuba, Havana, where some buildings were evacuated. Local media have also reported that many provinces – such as Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Las Tunas, Cienfuegos, Havana, Pinar del Rio and the municipality of Isla de la Juventud – have experienced the shock without reporting any particular damage.
Some buildings evacuated in Miami-Dade County. Fire crews inspecting buildings, no damage reported. Here the view from Dadeland, FL. #Earthquake pic.twitter.com/7ENq0sK32o
— Brandon Orr (@BrandonOrrWPLG) January 28, 2020
Not only that: even at 708 kilometers from the epicenter, in Florida, in Miami, the shock was felt. A USS geologist, Ryan Gold, explained to the Miami Herald that it is “entirely reasonable” that an earthquake of this magnitude was felt in Florida. ” It is a strong earthquake that can produce a lot of seismic energy, “ he specified. Many people took to the streets in Miami, but as the police specified, there were no injuries.