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Powerful Magnitude 7.7 Earthquake Strikes Near Jamaica and Cuba; Buildings Shake in Miami

A strong earthquake struck between Jamaica and Cuba in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday afternoon.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.7, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and was felt as far away as Miami.

The earthquake caused very strong to severe shaking in far western Jamaica, capable of moderate to heavy damage, the USGS said. It also said moderate shaking was felt on Grand Cayman Island.

The quake struck at 2:10 p.m. EST about 75 miles off the northwest tip of Jamaica and 50 miles off of southeastern Cuba. It was about 6 miles deep, USGS said.

In Jamaica, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management said tsunami waves up to 3 feet were possible.

The USGS received reports from people in Miami saying they felt the quake. Miami-Dade Police reported receiving phone calls of buildings shaking, and multiple buildings were being evacuated, NBC 6 reported.

People took to social media to share videos and reports of buildings being evacuated, including Miami Tower, a 47-story skyscraper in downtown, and Two Datran Center, a 20-story building in Kendall. There were also reports that Miami International Airport had been evacuated amid the shaking.

Miami-Dade’s Stephen P. Clark Government Center was also evacuated, according to a reporter for the Miami Herald.

The quake was also felt in Santiago in far-eastern Cuba, Belkis Guerrero, who works in a Catholic cultural center in the city, told The Associated Press. But she added there didn’t appear to be any damage in the heart of the colonial city.

“We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move,” she said. “We heard the noise of everything moving around.

“It felt very strong but it doesn’t look like anything happened,” she told The Associated Press.

In the Cayman Islands, roads cracked and sewage spilled from broken pipes, AP reported.