An earthquake of magnitude 7.7 has struck south of Cuba.
- The quake was initially reported as a magnitude of 7.3, but was upgraded to a 7.7
- It hit north-west of Montego Bay in Jamaica and west-south-west of Niquero in Cuba
- There were no immediate reports of deaths or serious damage
It triggered a tsunami warning for Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the US Geological Survey and the International Tsunami Information Centre said.
The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 7.3 before being upgraded, was centred in the sea between Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres.
“Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300km of the epicentre along the coasts of Jamaica … Cayman Islands and Cuba,” the International Tsunami Information Centre said.
The quake was 139 kilometres north-west of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 140 kilometres west-south-west of Niquero, Cuba. It hit at 2:10 pm (local time).
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The quake could be felt strongly in Santiago, the largest far-eastern Cuban city, according to Belkis Guerrero, who works in a Catholic cultural centre in the town.
“We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move,” she said.
“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 said.
The quake also hit the Cayman Islands, leaving cracked roads and what appeared to be sewage spilling from cracked mains.
There were no immediate reports of deaths, injuries or more severe damage, said Kevin Morales, editor-in-chief of the Cayman Compass newspaper.
The islands see so few earthquakes that newsroom staff were puzzled when it hit, he said.
“It was just like a big dump truck was rolling past,” Mr Morales said.
“Then it continued and got more intense.”