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7.7 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Caribbean

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A major earthquake hit the Caribbean on Tuesday, but initial reports suggest the damage was minimal.

The epicentre of the temblor was125 kilometers northwest of Lucea, Jamaica, and was at a depth of about 10 km. It was originally rated a 7.3 on the Richter scale but was upgraded to 7.7 by U S. authorities.

The shaking was felt as far away as Miami.

Initial reports said tsunami waves as high as one meter might take place along some coasts of Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, but those reports, thankfully, appeared to be incorrect.

Vancouver resident Craig Amundsen was in the Cayman Islands when the quake hit.

“Initially I heard a very loud noise but it wasn’t until I stood up that I felt a strong rolling sensation under my feet.”

Amundsen told TravelPulse Canada he’s staying in a concrete, three-bedroom house on the west side of Grand Cayman.

“We live on the second floor, and the rolling continued for 45-60 seconds. We grabbed our kitten and went outside, where other neighbours were joining us. Our dwelling showed no visible damage, but quickly photos appeared on line showing sink holes and damage in shops.

“At 4:55 p.m. a 6.1 aftershock hit and again we felt the rolling sensation, but it was smaller and ended sooner.”

Amundsen said there was talk about tsunamis but that the geographic structure of the Cayman Islands features large sea walls that limit the development of tidal waves.

Still, he said schools and other buildings were evacuated during the quakes and students were moved to to the second floor of their schools.

Amundsen said sink holes appeared on the island and that the water supply was affected.

“There has been concern about the ability of the water authority and their need to limit water supply,” he said in an email last night. “We’re awaiting updates now.”

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