RI native in Cayman Islands rattled by powerful earthquake

US & World

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ John Souto was on the beach in the Cayman Islands when everything began shaking around him.

“All of a sudden everything just started rambling, shaking and you actually had to hold onto your lounge chair,” Souto said.

The shaking was being produced by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and eastern Cuba, prompting a tsunami warning to be issued. That threat has since subsided.

Souto, a Cranston native, annually vacations to the Cayman Islands and said this is the first time he’s ever experienced an earthquake.

“The chandeliers were moving and we were told to stay out of the building ─ until we got word that we had to go to the sixth floor because of the tsunami warning,” Souto said.

Souto said the earthquake lasted roughly one minute and his family felt several aftershocks throughout the afternoon.

While there were no initial reports of serious damage or casualties, Souto said his family is still rattled by the ordeal.

“This was a little unnerving, considering I had never experienced it ever,” Souto said.

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