NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Several buildings around New Providence had to be evacuated yesterday after tremors were felt from a 7.7 magnitude earthquake.
The Cabinet Office announced the closure of government buildings due to tremors felt in buildings on East Bay Street and Shirley Street, around 3pm.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) reported a 7.7 magnitude earthquake occurred 83 miles northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, at approximately 2.10pm.
The National Emergency Management Agency has advised that it is monitoring for possible threats.
Evacuated buildings include: Colina Insurance Ltd, the Goodman’s Bay Corporate Building and Charlotte House.
Dexter Russell was among one of those people who had to evacuate his office building.
Russell, who has never experienced an earthquake before, said he simply thought there was construction and demolition ongoing next door.
“A few persons felt some movement, an office chair moved slightly and it’s just a vague feeling of did I just feel that,” he said.
“A few people confirmed, so we thought we’d come down the stairwell and we met everybody else from the other floors coming down as well.”
“…I just wanted to get out just to be safe, I didn’t know what was going on.”
Lisa Walters said she didn’t feel much of the tremors herself, but the reaction of her coworkers is what set her on edge.
“I didn’t really feel it too much but when you feel every else is [scared] you jump up as well,” Walters said.
“Nowadays you just never know. Life is so short. I am overwhelmed…We never know when it’s our time.”
Another bystander said while she has experienced a small earthquake tremor before, “it’s unsettling because it’s something foreign for us in Nassau.”
The Cabinet Office announced that government buildings were closed “in an abundance of caution”.
Eyewitness News Online understands that Cabinet ministers were on lunch break from the weekly meeting when the tremors were felt, shaking the Cabinet table.
The prime minister however was not in the building at the time.
“No Tsunami threat has been forecast for anywhere in The Bahamas,” NEMA confirmed.
“And there are no reports of injuries or damage.”
The PTWC has given a possible Tsunami threat for Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.
Meanwhile, the Pacific Disaster Centre and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) are actively monitoring the region for potential impacts.