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Huge 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off The Coast Of Jamaica

 

A tsunami warning has been issued for some parts of the Caribbean after a huge 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Jamaica.

As well as Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba are also at risk.

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake struck off the island’s north west coast, prompting an alert from the US Tsunami Warning Center.

The location of the quake. Credit: US Geological Survey
The location of the quake. Credit: US Geological Survey

The size of the quake has led to schools in Jamaica, as well as buildings un the US city of Miami – which is nearly 600 miles away – to be evacuated.

The earthquake struck at around 2.10pm Eastern Standard Time at a depth of 6.2 miles underground. This is particularly relevant as quakes that occur at shallower depths tend to cause more damage.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, waves of up to 3.5 metres in height could be possible on the coasts of Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Belize and the Caymans.

So far, there have been no reports of damages or injuries, but many have reported feeling the tremors in Jamaica, Cuba, and other islands in the region.

People in the Cayman Islands have been warned by The Cayman Islands Disaster Management Agency to ‘evacuate vertically’ in areas that are close to the coast as a precaution.

The statement from Hazard Management Cayman Islands reads: “A 7.7 magnitude earthquake has occurred approximately 80 miles ESE of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

“It is likely that a tsunami was generated. As a precaution move away from coastal areas and if in low lying areas.

“Evacuate vertically in strong strong multi story buildings.”

A recent bulletin from the Tsunami Warning Center explained the dangers posed by tsunamis after earthquakes such as this.

The bulletin read: “A tsunami is a series of waves. The time between wave crests can vary from five minutes to an hour.

“The hazard may persist for many hours or longer after the initial wave. Impacts can vary significantly from one section of coast to next due to the local bathymetry and the shape and elevation of the shoreline.

“Impacts can also vary depending upon the state of the tide at the time of the maximum tsunami waves. Persons caught in the water of a tsunami may drown, be crushed by debris in the water, or be swept out to sea.”


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