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28 Jan, 2020 19:36

Tsunami warning issued for several Caribbean countries after 7.7 earthquake

Tsunami warning issued for several Caribbean countries after 7.7 earthquake

The International Tsunami Information Center issued a tsunami warning for Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands following a massive earthquake in the Caribbean Sea.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported an earthquake 117 km off Jamaica coast in the strait between it and Cuba on Tuesday. Its epicenter was at 10 km depth. The initial magnitude of  7.3 was upgraded to a 7.7.

The tsunami warning that was issued based on the earthquake was lifted after a few hours. The International Tsunami Information Center said the threat has mostly passed. 

Footage showed people in Jamaica feeling the effects of the tremor on the coast.

Photos also show damage left by the quake. One image from Jamaica gleaner shows sinkholes.

Citizens in Kingston, which is on the far side of the island, reported to the the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) website that they felt a quake that lasted less than a minute.

Testimonials came through the site from people on the Cayman Islands as well saying they felt the effects.

“Whole house was shaking,” wrote one person about 251 km from the epicenter of the quake.

The Miami Herald reported quakes were even felt in the Florida city. 

Video appears to show people from the city evacuated from several high-rise buildings.

The Cayman Islands Disaster Management Agency told citizens who were near the shore or in low-level areas to "evacuate vertically" as a precaution. A spokeswoman for the agency said there have been reports of fatalities or injuries.