A 5.1-magnitude earthquake was recorded off the coast of Cuba in the Straits of Florida, swaying medium-rise buildings in the Cuban capital of Havana.
The quake struck at 3:57 p.m., the National Tsunami Warning Center said. The moderate earthquake did not trigger any tsunami warnings, and there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in Cuba.
The temblor occurred about 106 miles east of Havana, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The closest city to the epicenter was Corralillo, 17 miles 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.
Cuba is not as known for seismic activity as other parts of Latin America, especially countries along the Pacific Rim of Fire.
But a number of significant quakes have hit the island over the years, including one in 1932 that killed eight people and damaged 80 percent of the buildings in the eastern city of Santiago, according to U.S. National Geophysical Data Center records.
Florida Keys residents startled by Cuba earthquake
Residents across the Lower Florida Keys say they felt rumblings from a 5.1-magnitude earthquake off Cuba.
The tremor struck Thursday afternoon about 106 miles east of Havana. No injuries or damage was reported.
Maureen Welsh said her three dogs began racing through her mobile home on Big Coppitt Key when the floor started shaking. She says it felt like "a whole bunch of cars with loud basses" rumbling under the floor.
The Key West Citizen reports that some residents called the Naval Air Station in Key West to ask if aircraft activity was to blame for the shaking in their homes. Other residents called the Monroe County Sheriff's Office to ask about the rumbling.
The last time a quake shook Key West was 1880 when two struck Cuba.
Earthquake magnitude scale
|Magnitude||Earthquake Effects||Estimated No. Each Year|
|2.5 or less||Usually not felt, but can be recorded by seismograph.||900,000|
|2.5 to 5.4||Often felt, but only causes minor damage.||30,000|
|5.5 to 6.0||Slight damage to buildings and other structures.||500|
|6.1 to 6.9||May cause a lot of damage in very populated areas.||100|
|7.0 to 7.9||Major earthquake. Serious damage.||20|
|8.0 or greater||Great earthquake. Can totally destroy communities near the epicenter.||One every 5 to 10 years|
Earthquake magnitude classes
|Great||8 or more|
|Major||7 - 7.9|
|Strong||6 - 6.9|
|Moderate||5 - 5.9|
|Light||4 - 4.9|