SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit Jamaica on Monday, prompting individuals to flee buildings amid heavy shaking that knocked out energy in some areas however appeared to trigger no severe harm.
Meals, wine bottles and different gadgets tumbled off the cabinets in grocery shops and a few minor harm to buildings was reported.
The tremor’s epicenter was about 2 miles (4 kilometers) west-northwest of Hope Bay in northeastern Jamaica, in keeping with the U.S. Geological Survey. It occurred at a shallow depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers).
Prime Minister Andrew Holness mentioned no deaths, accidents or extreme harm had been reported.
“Harm has been minor, however nonetheless, we’re taking all precautions,” he mentioned in a quick message posted on-line. “I need to say to all Jamaicans, stay calm.”
He requested that folks keep in a protected place in case of aftershocks, including that the earthquake briefly left sure areas with out electrical energy and telephone service.
“We give God thanks for sparing us the worst,” he mentioned.
Jamaica’s Constabulary Power mentioned in an announcement that the earthquake knocked site visitors lights offline and that police have been being dispatched to intersections.
The tremor sparked worry on the island, with some individuals rushed to hospitals for panic assaults.
Individuals on the U.N.’s Worldwide Seabed Authority assembly that started Monday may very well be seeing fleeing on digital camera earlier than the published reduce off. The group finally returned, however determined to postpone the assembly to late afternoon amid jitters.
“We want a while to regulate emotionally,” mentioned Elza Moreira Marcelino de Castro, Brazil’s consultant.
The assembly was later canceled for the day.
One journalist, Cliff Hughes, CEO of Nationwide Information Community, was on the air in Jamaica when the bottom started shaking.
“We’re having an earthquake,” he mentioned calmly.
Then, the shaking grew stronger.
“Oh, God,” he mentioned because the lights flickered off and he sought shelter beneath a desk.
Whereas small earthquakes are widespread in and round Jamaica — some 200 a 12 months — sturdy ones are uncommon.
The devastating Port Royal earthquake occurred in 1692, with a portion of the city sinking into the ocean. Then in 1907, a quake struck the capital, Kingston, killing greater than 1,000 individuals. One other large quake was reported in March 1957, affecting principally western Jamaica, in keeping with the College of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica.
The island sits atop the Enriquillo–Plantain Backyard fault zone as do Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in keeping with the U.S. Geological Survey.
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