According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake was centred 139 kilometres northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 140 km west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba, with shakes reaching as far as Mexico and Florida.
A 6.1-magnitude tremor followed the initial earthquake and in the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, large sinkholes appeared. Marriot staff in the Cayman Islands were instructed to evacuate guests out of the hotel two separate times – the first time due to the quake, and the second, due to a tsunami warning issued by the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC). In addition, the Cayman Islands Government urged everyone in the region to ‘move away from coastal areas’. This warning was then removed a few hours later after the ITIC asserted that the threat had ‘largely passed’.
In terms of tourism, reports suggest that people are still travelling to and from the area as normal. Shannon Thompson, Sales Manager at Elite Travel – a local travel agent – said: “Currently inspectors are out and they’re inspecting infrastructure, but the [international airport at Montego Bay] is open right now, they have not delayed any flights. Flights are still landing.”
We’re glad to report that despite the magnitude of the quake, no casualties have been reported, and there are, as of yet, no reports of heavy damage. We’ll be sure to update this story as and when any new reports come in.