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USGS: ‘Strong’ Earthquake Rattles Cayman Islands Sunday Night; No Tsunami Warning Issued

cayman quaker

GEORGE TOWN – A strong earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale struck the Caribbean Sea between Honduras and the Cayman Islands last night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The earthquake, which struck at 6:39 p.m. local time in Honduras or 7:39 p.m. local time in the Cayman Islands, was centered about 104 miles south-southwest of the capital city of George Town or 261 miles west of Montego Bay in Jamaica.

It struck about 9.1 kilometers (5.7 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the seismologists.

Computer models from the USGS estimated that some 54,000 people may have felt weak shaking from the earthquake, which is unlikely to have caused damage or casualties. Shaking could be felt in George Town, West Bay, Bodden Town, and some other towns in the region.

However, no tsunami watches or warnings were issued at the time.

“Based on earthquake information and historic tsunami records the earthquake is not expected to generate a tsunami,” the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin.

Weather forecasters in the region said that Grand Cayman was experiencing heavy thunderstorms at the time of the quake.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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