LAKE MARY, Fla. - A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Tuesday, shaking a vast area from Mexico to Florida and beyond, but there were no reports of casualties or heavy damage.
The quake was centered 139 kilometers (86 miles) northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 140 kilometers (87 miles) west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It hit at 2:10 p.m. (1910 GMT) and the epicenter was a relatively shallow 10 kilometers (6 miles) beneath the surface.
The earthquake was felt in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and Mexico. It was so powerful, the shaking was even felt as far north as Florida. Multiple buildings in Miami were evacuated Tuesday afternoon.
"That's not unusual, Miami's only a couple hundred miles away," explained University of Central Florida Geology Professor Joseph Donoghue.
Donoghue spoke about Tuesday's earthquake in the Caribbean and said the recent quake and the quake in Puerto Rico over the last month are near the same plate boundary. The fault is a "left-lateral" strike-slip fault, which means the plates slide against each other and not underneath.
Puerto Rico's earthquakes started in December, but have not reached higher than a magnitude 6.3.
"All things considered, the earthquake the big one in Puerto Rico is 1/30th the energy released, the magnitude of the one that occurred today."
The question on many people's minds now is will the Super Bowl in Miami be affected? Donoghue said no.