Caribbean 7.7 earthquake felt in South Florida

Buildings self-evacuated in downtown Miami

MIAMI, Fla. – Buildings in South Florida were evacuated Tuesday after a powerful 7.7 earthquake hit in the Caribbean Sea shaking buildings as far as Florida’s east coast.

The magnitude 7.7 earthquake was detected between Cuba and Jamaica around 2:10 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

According to the USGS website that tracks earthquake tremors, people reported shaking from West Palm Beach down to the keys.

News 6 partner WPLG in Miami reports eight buildings in downtown Miami were self-evacuated. No injuries or road closures have been reported.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake could generate waves 1 to 3 feet above normal in Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Mexico and Belize.

There is no tsunami threat for the Gulf of Mexico or the eastern U.S. from the earthquake, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.

University of Central Florida Associate Professor and Coastal Geologist Joseph Donoghue said that Tuesday's earthquake was one of the strongest on record to hit the Cayman Island Region.

"A 7.7 is pretty, pretty unusual. So, we haven't had one of that magnitude until, since 1787," said Donoghue.

Donoghue said that it appeared recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico are occurring along the same fault.

“They can cause a tsunami, so there’s a double risk. A big enough earthquake on the ocean floor can rock the land as well,” said Donoghue. “Two pieces of crust move towards each other, collide, and the friction is the earthquake.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.