By Stacey Leasca
January 28, 2020

A massive 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck just northwest of the Jamaican town of Lucea on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 2:10 p.m. EST, data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) showed. The powerful quake could be felt as far away as Cuba and southern Florida.

via USGS

According to the USGS, the earthquake’s epicenter was to the south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. It happened along a strike-slip fault, which the USGS explained is a “vertical (or nearly vertical) fracture where the blocks have mostly moved horizontally.” The earthquake occurred on the plate boundary between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates, about six miles below the earth’s surface, which the Associated Press noted is considered a relatively shallow earthquake.

Workers leave the building of the Lonja del Comercio (Commerce Market) building after a quake in Havana on January 28, 2020. - A major 7.7 magnitude quake struck Tuesday in the Caribbean northwest of Jamaica, the US Geological Survey reported, raising the risk of tsunami waves in the region.
ADALBERTO ROQUE/Getty Images

Following the earthquake, the U.S. National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami alert for the coasts of Jamaica, Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands. The tsunami warning has since been lifted, CNN reported.

Just after the earthquake struck, airline expert Jason Rabinowitz tweeted flight data showing flights being diverted from landing in Jamaica.

However, minutes later, he noted the takeoffs and landings had resumed.

But airlines aren’t the only ones taking precautions. Multiple buildings in Miami were quickly evacuated, as the structures swayed, NBC 6 reported. That included Miami Tower, a 47-story skyscraper located in downtown Miami, as well as Miami-Dade’s Stephen P. Clark Government Center.

So far, there are no reports of injuries or fatalities. If your near-future travel plans include flights to and from Jamaica, Cuba, or the surrounding area, check with your airline for the status of your flight as well as your hotel to ensure it's still accepting guests.

This is an ongoing story.

Advertisement