Earthquake of 7.7 magnitude hits the Caribbean

US Geological Survey has announced that a quake has hit between Jamaica, Cayman Island and Cuba at a depth of 10 Km. The 7.7 magnitude earthquake was followed by several aftershocks one of which was recorded at 6.1 magnitude.

A 0.4 feet high tsunami was recorded at tsunami at Cayman islands while the rest of the area did not observe any tsunami. The epicentre of the quake was located to be at 125 km north-west of Lucea, Jamaica.

Though buildings shook and tremors were felt across the region there have been no reports of immediate casualties. The effect of the wave was felt in Miami too, forcing many offices to temporarily evacuate.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC)  has issued warnings earlier announcing “hazardous tsunami waves” were possible for coasts located within 300km of the earthquake’s epicentre. But these were later withdrawn.

On Twitter, Cayman authorities said there were “only a few reports of structural damage to buildings” and shelters were being opened as a precaution.

CNN reports that the earthquake appears to have been a “strike-slip earthquake,” in which tectonic plates slide against each other. This limits the threat of a devastating tsunami, which are more associated with “thrust earthquakes,” where a portion of the earth is thrust upward and causes the water to push up and outward, creating the tsunami.

Seismologist Dr Lucy Jones tweeted: “The M7.7 Jamaican quake produced sideways motion on the fault, so the tsunami risk is low.”

The new quakes have come three weeks after the devastating earthquake that had struck Puerto Rico, causing millions of damage in property.

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