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Magnitude 7.7 earthquake hits between Cuba and Jamaica

Earthquake hits between Cuba and Jamaica
Earthquake hits between Cuba and Jamaica 01:17

A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered about 76 miles north-northwest of Lucea, Jamaica, CBS Miami reported.

There were no initial reports of damage or casualties. The quake was centered about 6 miles beneath the surface of the water.

The National Weather Service initially issued a tsunami threat for the coasts of Jamaica, Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico and the Cayman Islands, but called off the alert around 4 p.m. ET. There was concern there could be tsunami waves reaching about 1 to 3 feet above the tide level.

The quake was so powerful some Miami residents felt their buildings shake.

"I was sitting at my desk in Aventura, I felt motion similar to feeling light-headed," a resident who asked to remain anonymous told CBS Miami. "It didn't stop and my coworker asked if the building was moving."

A CBS Miami chopper flew over buildings as hundreds of people were apparently evacuating into the streets. 

Miami-Dade police have confirmed officers responded to the Datran Center in Dadeland just after 2:30 p.m. to investigate reports of the building shaking. The building was evacuated as a precaution.

The Stephen P. Clark building in downtown Miami has also been closed as a precaution, police said. They said some buildings in the Brickell area were evacuated, but there were no reported injuries and there are no road closures.

The epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake is seen on a map provided by the U.S. Geological Survey. USGS

Raquel Perez, an employee at the Don Soffer Clinical Research Center on the University of Miami Medical Campus was on the seventh floor when she felt the quake.

"Not everyone noticed it in my office. I was sitting at my desk and felt my chair swaying. Then, I noticed the cords of our window blinds swaying back and forth. It didn't look like it was windy outside, so I couldn't figure out why the building was swaying, but it was," Perez told CBS Miami. "It actually made me a little dizzy. Ten minutes later, someone in our office said they also felt movement and found a report online of an earthquake," she added.

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine sent a statement: "We are aware of the earthquake that occurred this afternoon south of Cuba. There has been no impact, and no buildings have been evacuated, on the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine campus. All operations continue on normal schedules."

Workers leave the building of the Lonja del Comercio building in Havana, Cuba, on January 28, 2020. Getty
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