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International News: Magnitude 5 earthquake rocks Jamaica, causing panic; Belizean students reported safe and sound

Posted: Monday, October 30, 2023. 1:10 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Jamaica Gleaner confirms that the island nation was rocked by a magnitude 5.4 (revised from 5.2) earthquake this morning, felt across the island, with no reported damages or injuries so far.

The earthquake was located about 2 miles west-northwest of Hope Bay, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, according to CTV News (Canada). It occurred at a shallow depth of 6 miles.

There was panic in the aftermath; according to CTV, members attending the U.N.’s International Seabed Authority meeting that began Monday could be seen fleeing on camera before the broadcast cut off. The group eventually returned but postponed the meeting to late afternoon Monday amid jitters.

A Belizean student at the University of the West Indies (UWI) campus at Mona, Jamaica, reported being shaken up in an afternoon interview with LOVE FM but said that through an internal chat group, he and his fellows are safe and accounted for for the time being.

The island sits atop the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault zone, which it shares with Haiti and the Dominican Republic, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Smaller earthquakes are not uncommon but ones larger than 5.0 are fairly rare. The best known are the devastating 1692 earthquake in Port Royal that caused that town to be abandoned and partially fall into the sea, and deadly quakes in 1907 near Kingston and 1957 in Western Jamaica.

In September, the Gleaner reports, the country was hit by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake.

 

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