A powerful earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea about 80 miles off the northwest coast of Jamaica and near eastern Cuba Tuesday, briefly sparking tsunami fears and sending office workers in Miami scurrying into the streets.
A vast area from Mexico to Florida felt the affects of the temblor measured at a 7.7 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey.
In Miami, several buildings were evacuated when the quake hit about 2:10 p.m.
“I felt a little shake in my chair,” Virginia Arellano, who had been on the 18th floor of her building, told CBSMiami.com.
“We felt movement and everyone in the office said, ‘What’s happening? What’s happening?’ The blinds were moving and we were told to evacuate,” Arellano said.
Cuban state media said the quake was felt across the island.
“We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move,” said Belkis Guerrero, who works in the center of Santiago, Cuba. “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.
No injuries were reported in any of the areas where the earthquake was felt.
A tsunami warning was issued after the earthquake, but followup messages from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the threat of elevated waves quickly passed.
The earthquake left cracked roads and pipes in the Cayman Islands. Witnesses reported manhole covers blown out of place and sewage flooding streets.
“It was just like a big dump truck was rolling past,” Kevin Morales, editor-in-chief of the Cayman Compass newspaper, told the AP. “Then it continued and got more intense.”
Data showed the earthquake’s epicenter was only about 6 miles below the water’s surface.