Powerful earthquake hits Caribbean

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A powerful earthquake rocked the eastern Caribbean today. The quake damaged buildings and panicked residents, some of whom were hurt when they jumped from windows.

The magnitude-7.4 earthquake was centered 14 miles northwest of Martinique's coastline. It lasted longer than 20 seconds. It was felt as far away as Puerto Rico to the west, and Venezuela and Suriname to the south.

It collapsed the roofs of a bank and a store in the capital of the French island of Martinique and left cracks in several other buildings.

Martinique police and firefighters responded to hundreds of calls for help but only minor injuries were reported. One British citizen reportedly died from heart failure during the quake.

Experts say the depth of the quake, at 90 miles, spared the region severe destruction.

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