Earthquake rattles Cuba, South Florida

Earthquake rattles Cuba, South Florida

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A moderate earthquake struck off the coast of Cuba this afternoon, the USGS says.

The magnitude 5.1 quake happened at 3:57 p.m. local time and was centered about 20 miles off the northern coast of the island nation in the Florida Straits.

There was no immediate word of any damage, though it was reportedly felt across South Florida.

"I felt a building sway," Deputy Becky Herin with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office told FOX 35.  "I was at work and sitting at my chair,  and I felt the building start moving. I grew up in Washington State, so I knew what it was, but nobody else knew, because if you grew up here in the Keys, you haven't experienced earthquakes."

According to USGS, they have received reports of people feeling the Florida straits earthquake from as far away as Orlando and Daytona Beach.  Many reports were received from Fort myers, Naples, Miami, Sarasota, St. Pete.  The most reports came from Key West.

The closest city to the epicenter was Corralillo, Cuba 17 miles (28 kilometers) to the southwest.

In Old Havana, the quake was felt clearly by workers in two 6-floor buildings that were temporarily evacuated. It appeared to last around 30 seconds.

Sandor Polo, a 31-year-old waiter, said he was delivering food to a third-floor office when boxes suddenly began to move and workers started yelling.

"I got dizzy," Polo said, adding that he's never felt anything like it in his life.

"Everything was moving," said Nuria Oquendo, a 44-year-old office assistant who was on the sixth floor of a neighboring building when it began to move back and forth. "You could really feel it, very clear, very defined."

Like Polo, she had never been in an earthquake before. She called the experience unsettling, but said she wasn't scared.

"Not frightened, but a sensation that something strange is going on," Oquendo said.

The USGS initially reported a magnitude of 5.0, and later upgraded it to 5.1. The quake struck at a depth of six miles (10 kilometers).

The U.S. National Weather Service said there was no tsunami danger.


Some information taken from the Associated Press.



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