Moderate Earthquake Strikes East Coast of Cuba

A moderate 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Cuba over the weekend, causing minimal damage and no injuries. The quake struck the eastern coast of the island, where the Guantánamo Bay military base is located. Santiago de Cuba, the largest city in that region of Cuba, is located about 40 miles southeast of the epicenter of the quake. An aftershock measuring 4.8 hit the same area about 90 minutes later.

The earthquake was most likely related to the 7.0 tremor that devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010. Eastern Cuba lies a short distance across the Caribbean Sea from Port-Au-Prince and right along the same fault line that caused the quake in Haiti's capital city. Scientists are watching the area for signs that quakes are moving along the Caribbean fault line to determine whether or not Haiti may be in for another big temblor. This is the second quake to hit the eastern region of Cuba since the Haiti quake; a previous tremor, measuring 5.4 in magnitude, hit the area on Feb. 12.