Updated 07:51 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 23, 2020

Cuba Rocked by More than 400 Earthquakes in One Day; Civil Defense in High Alert

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452 earthquakes rocked Cuba on Sunday. The residents felt a total of 19 earthquakes, and panicked at the thought of both massive damages in infrastructure, and loss of lives.

A LaRed21 report indicated that of the strongest quake felt that day measured 4.8 on the Richter Scale. It added that the epicenter of the quakes was recorded 40 kilometers south of Santiago de Cuba.

But Havana Times said that one of the tremors even reached a 5.0 magnitude, adding that the first was recorded at around 1:30 a.m.

Journalists and radio stations reported the ground shaking, causing panic early in the morning. Warnings to the public were issued.

Havana Times added that reporters observed cracks and fallen walls in the neighborhood of New Van Van.

The Civil Defense Authority was quick to refute the claims at around 6 a.m., explaining that earthquakes did not cause any collapsed buildings. 

Matos advised residents not to proceed to the ground floor of any buildings on their own. They were also told to proceed to open spaces like Ferreiro Park.

Many followed the instructions of the Civil Defense Authority, and proceeded to the park with their bags and suitcases.

Aside from these precautions, Matos also told people to close their gas tank valves and turn off any electrical appliances inside their homes.

Cuba Journal noted that, as of Monday, the earthquakes did not cause any damage or injuries.

The National Center of Seismological Research technological deputy director Dr. Enrique Arango Arias told LaRed21 that this number of earthquakes in a single day is not normal, despite the lack of injury or damage.

"We must be vigilant," he added.

Cuba has already activated various sectors who are prepared to respond to any destructive effects of the possible natural disaster.

Last year, LaRed21 noted that more than 5,000 earthquakes in Cuba, mostly on the south and eastern sections of the country.

Since the country is "a seismically active region," the report noted that this number of earthquakes is not surprising.  

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