7.7 Earthquake in Caribbean Prompts Evacuations as Far Away as Miami
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake shook the Caribbean Tuesday, rattling people from Miami to Mexico.
The quake struck at 2:10 p.m. and had its epicenter 86 miles northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica and 87 miles southwest of Niquero, Cuba. It prompted evacuations in Miami and opened sinkholes in the Cayman Islands, but so far there have been no reports of major damages or injuries.
"This one was serious. It put the fear of God into many people today," Jamaican ad executive Knolly Moses told NPR.
A M7.7 has been reported northwest of Jamaica. It appears to be the transform fault boundary between the North Amer… https://t.co/rc0ZLJi30M— Dr. Lucy Jones (@Dr. Lucy Jones)1580240250.0
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned that "hazardous tsunami waves" could impact Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, BBC News reported. However, those warnings were later withdrawn.
The earthquake was felt in Kingston, Jamaica and Havana, Cuba. It was also strongly felt in Cuba's largest eastern city, Santiago, The Associated Press reported. However, the colonial city emerged unscathed.
"It felt very strong but it doesn't look like anything happened," Belkis Guerrero, who works at a Roman Catholic cultural center there, told The Associated Press.
In the Cayman Islands, the shaking blew the covers off manholes and blasted sewage into the streets, Cayman Islands hospital psychiatrist Dr. Stenette Davis told The Associated Press. The Cayman Islands also felt a series of aftershocks — one reached a magnitude of 6.1. Water was shut off to most of Grand Cayman Island and schools were closed Wednesday.
Big #earthquake off coast of Jamaica. This photo was taken at Cricket Square in George Town, Cayman Islands. Bricks… https://t.co/wRkDynzr4B— Naomi Yamamoto (@Naomi Yamamoto)1580242709.0
Cayman Compass editor-in-chief Kevin Morales said that the island was unaccustomed to earthquakes and that newspaper staff were not at first sure what they were experiencing.
"It was just like a big dump truck was rolling past," Morales told The Associated Press. "Then it continued and got more intense."
In Miami, meanwhile, the shaking prompted evacuations from at least eight high-rise buildings in downtown Miami, Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell told CNN affiliate WPLG, as the main network reported.
High-rise employee Jose Abreu at first thought the vibrations he felt were from a fan.
"I thought it was the fan acting up on me. I didn't think anything of it," he said. "I just went along, until the building announcement came through the speakers and I just evacuated in the back of the building."
Ryan Gold of the U.S. Geological Survey told the Miami Herald that it was not surprising that the quake was felt in Miami, as BBC News reported.
"It's a very large earthquake which can produce a lot of seismic energy," he said.
Shaking from the 7.7 magnitude Caribbean Earthquake felt in high-rises as far north as Aventura, FL, just north of… https://t.co/bde5Mq68Bc— Brandon Orr (@Brandon Orr)1580241915.0
The earthquake was also felt in five Mexican states including Veracruz, on the Gulf Coast, The Associated Press reported.
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- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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