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5.1-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Coast of Cuba, Felt in Fla. Keys

The quake could be felt in Key West, Fla., according to the NEIC.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 struck just off the coast of Cuba, 14 miles north of Corralillo, at 3:57 p.m. Thursday. The tremor could be felt as far as the lower Keys. NBC 6 Meteorologist John Morales has the latest. (Published Thursday, Jan 9, 2014)

    An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 struck just off the coast of Cuba on Thursday and was felt in Florida, according to the National Earthquake Information Center.

    The quake struck in the Straits of Florida, off Cuba, about 17 miles north-northwest of Corralillo at 3:57 p.m. 

    The quake swayed medium-rise buildings in the Cuban capital and was felt in Key West.

    There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

    The temblor was centered about 107 miles east of Havana and 22 miles northeast of Marti. It struck at a depth of about 6.2 miles.

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

    Meanwhile, in the lower Florida Keys, some residents felt the earthquake. City of Key West officials said they could feel the shake, but no objects fell from the walls or shelves.

    Becky Herrin, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, was in her office located just outside of Key West when the room started swaying.

    "I was in my office, sitting in my chair at my desk. Suddenly I felt this swaying motion. Suddenly, I heard from other offices: 'What was that? What was that?'" she said.

    Herrin said the sheriff's office got calls from residents who had felt it too.

    "It wouldn't surprise me if anyone's picture fell off of the wall," she said.

    But it was first time in the 28 years she has lived in the Keys that she has felt tremors.

    "It's not something we get here," she said.

    The U.S. Geological Survey calculated the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.1. (Click here for their website.)

    Cuba is not as known for seismic activity as are other parts of Latin America, especially countries along the Pacific's 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.

    It is also not the first time a quake originating in Cuba was felt in Florida. Click here for details.