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7.7-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Caribbean, Forces Evacuations in Miami

by Eben Diskin Jan 28, 2020

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake rocked the Caribbean on Tuesday, striking south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The quake is the strongest ever recorded by Cuban instruments, and the NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami threat for Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, and Jamaica, warning of waves up to three feet above the tide level.

The quake was so powerful it was even felt in Miami, with some buildings undergoing evacuation due to safety precautions. In a tweet, the Miami Police Department said it was assisting firefighters with reported vibrations in the Brickell and downtown neighborhoods.

Jose Borrego, who was attending a meeting at the Bank of America building in Brickell, described his evacuation to CNN. “The evacuation was pretty smooth,” he said, “but all in all anxious about the state of emergency and the lack of information regarding the situation.” According to his account, he felt only a slight tremor inside the building but emerged to find that every building in the surrounding area was being similarly evacuated.

The timing of the earthquake couldn’t be more inopportune. As the city prepares for the Super Bowl this Sunday, media, fans, and sports figures are flocking to Miami ahead of the event though no injuries have yet been reported and, there appears to be no structural damage to buildings.

Of course, the bigger concern is toward the Carribean and the island countries directly affected. While no major injuries have been reported so far, we hope that continues to be the case and that a tsunami does not hit the area.

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