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Magnitude 7.7 quake hits near Cuba; effects felt across Caribbean

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck south of Cuba, triggering a tsunami alert and causing buildings to be evacuated in Miami’s financial district.

It was reportedly felt in The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Haiti, Honduras and Cuba.

A tweet from Jamaica’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

The quake struck at 2:10 PM ET between Cuba and Jamaica, with an epicentre 10 kilometres beneath the surface, according to the US Geological Survey.

“Tsunami waves have been observed,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in an alert. “Based on all available data… Hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts.”

The earthquake was felt across the Caribbean, including Kingston, Jamaica, The Bahamas and Cuba.

Waves up to one metre above the tide level are possible for some coasts of Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Cayman Islands and Jamaica, according to warning center.

In Miami’s Brickell financial district, thousands of people streamed out of office buildings into the streets below where police directed traffic as buildings were inspected for any signs of damage.

“Tsunami waves have been observed…Based on all available data… Hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts.”

– Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

The Cayman Islands authorities urged people to move away from coastal areas.

There were no immediate reports of damage in Jamaica, the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement. The Miami Herald said there were no immediate signs of damage in Havana.

–Bloomberg