Earthquake triggers tsunami warning for Cuba, Jamaica and Caymans

HAVANA, Ja. 28th A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake has struck in the sea south of Cuba, triggering a tsunami warning for Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but tsunami warnings were quickly issued.

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.

The epicentre of the quake on Tuesday was 139km (86 miles) north-west of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 140km (87 miles) west-south-west of Niquero, Cuba. It was a relatively shallow 10km (six miles) beneath the surface.

“Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300km (186 miles) of the epicentre along the coasts of Jamaica … The Cayman Islands and Cuba,” the International Tsunami Information Center said.

The disaster management agency for the Cayman Islands government on Twitter urged people to move away from coastal areas and said that those in low-lying areas should “evacuate vertically” in strong multi-story buildings.

The quake was not strongly felt in the Cuban capital of Havana or in Kingston, Jamaica, according to Reuters witnesses.

The quake could be felt strongly in Santiago, the largest far-eastern Cuban city, said Belkis Guerrero, who works in a Catholic cultural centre in the centre of Santiago

“We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move,” she said. “We heard the noise of everything moving around.” She said there was no apparent damage in the heart of the colonial city. “It felt very strong but it doesn’t look like anything happened,’’ she told the Associated Press.

( www.theguardian.com )