7.7 Magnitude Earthquake Triggers Tsunami Warning, Forces Widespread Evacuation

Stevian Simmonds reports

Hundreds of schools and businesses had to be evacuated this afternoon when an earthquake struck the island.

The 7-point-7 magnitude earthquake struck at ten-minutes after 2 this afternoon.

Its impact was felt in the Cayman Islands, Cuba, the Bahamas, Honduras, Belize and southern Florida.

The US Geological Survey says Jamaica and other parts of the northern Caribbean were shaken by the 7-point-7 magnitude quake.

Its epicenter was 117 kilometers North West of Lucea, Hanover, at a focal depth of only 10 kilometers

This is how a resident of the western parish of St. James reacted.

So far, there’ve been no reports of any fatality or major structural damage.

Professor of Sedimentary Geology at the UWI Mona, and former Head of Jamaica’s Earthquake Unit, Professor Simon Mitchell, explained where the quake struck.

Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Ronald Jackson, says the earthquake could result in aftershocks.

Local Government Minister, Desmond McKenzie, says the government is establishing a special team to help those who’ve been affected.

And the Trinidad-based seismologist Joan Latchman, says Jamaica was due a large earthquake.

Joan Latchman, seismologist.

The Director of the Disaster and Emergency Management Unit in the Bahamas, Captain Steven Russell, says the quake was felt in downtown Nassau.

Captain Stephen Russell, Director of the Disaster and Emergency Management Unit in the Bahamas.

They were speaking earlier on Nationwide 90FM.

Tsunami alerts have been issued for Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands.

Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.

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