A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 hit the Caribbean region on Tuesday. The epicenter of the quake is roughly 80 miles from Jamaica, and could be felt as far as Miami. While there have been warnings of potential tsunamis throughout the region, only a small wave of less than a foot was recorded in the Cayman Islands at George Town, but the waters have been relatively calm considering the severity of the earthquake.
The region has also faced numerous aftershocks, including one with a magnitude of 6.1, according to the US Geological Survey.
The quake comes at a time of intense seismic activity in the region, including a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Puerto Rico. Experts believe that this earthquake is a “strike-slip earthquake,” which means that tectonic plates slide against each other causing movement on the surface.
This would actually be good, because if this is the case, that means that tsunamis are less likely to happen, as they are most commonly associated with “thrust earthquakes,” in which the crust is thrust upward and causes the water to push up and outward, ultimately creating a tsunami.
Initially, there were widespread warnings that a tsunami could be coming, but the estimations were eventually reduced.
In Florida, buildings were evacuated out of fear that the quakes could cause structural damage.
#Update: #Tsunami Warning Of Up To 1 meter (3 Feet) issued for #Belize, #Cuba, #Honduras, #Mexico, #Cayman Islands and #Jamaica after Magnitude 7.7 Quake in the #Caribbean Sea – International Tsunami Information Center pic.twitter.com/mwd7CjJXxl
— ISCResearch (@ISCResearch) January 28, 2020
— Nikki (@nikki__anne) January 28, 2020
No injuries have been reported, but property damage has already been in the aftermath of the quake.
There are some parts of the planet where earthquakes have come to be expected, because they sit near fault lines and have them on a regular basis, like California, for example, but for most of the world, this type of seismic activity is not very common. The Northeast region of the continent of North America experiences earthquakes very rarely, but in recent months there has been an unusually high level of seismic activity in this part of the world.
Just this week, another earthquake struck in North Carolina, which is only the most recent of many to hit the area. The United States Geological Survey reported a 2.3 magnitude earthquake around the Forest Oaks and Pleasant Garden areas of Guilford County early Tuesday morning, according to MFMI.
Tremors were felt in the United States as well. New York State Police told NBC5 that they received numerous reports of homes shaking in Malone, Altona, and Chazy. The USGS reported that the earthquake could also be felt in parts of Burlington and even as far north as Montreal.
These recent quakes also come at a time of heightened volcanic activity around the earth, with many eruptions taking place around the world in the past month. Some researchers speculate that the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions could somehow be linked, but this is mostly speculation, as it has not been significantly proven that volcanic eruptions can trigger other earthquakes or eruptions a long distance away, although it has been proven that this phenomenon takes place if volcanoes are in close proximity.