Powerful earthquake hits Caribbean

FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique (AP) -- A powerful earthquake rocked
the eastern Caribbean today. The quake damaged buildings and
panicked residents, some of whom were hurt when they jumped from
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
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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