Western Cuba Shakes from 5.1 Earthquake

The San Cristobal, Artemisa Hospital, after the evacuation following the 5.1 earthquake on June 29, 2021. Photo 14ymedio.

Cracked walls and fallen ceilings at the Hospital in San Cristóbal, Artemisa, near the epicenter

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – The 5.1 magnitude earthquake that shook part of the western Cuba at 11 a.m. this Tuesday has caused damage and cracks in the main Hospital in San Cristóbal, Artemisa, reported 14ymedio.

The online daily was able to confirm with a nurse from the hospital, that parts of the ceiling fell on the third floor, the children’s therapy floor, and on the fourth, and many walls are cracked.

The web publication also reported the deployment of ambulances from the city of Artemisa to San Cristobal, which is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Several residents in the provinces of Artemisa, Mayabeque and Havana, reported having felt the earthquake, later confirmed by official sources.

According to the National Center for Seismological Research, the epicenter was located 17 kilometers northwest of San Cristobal, in the province of Artemisa, and at a depth of 5 kilometers.

“Reports of perceptibility were received in several tall buildings in the city of Havana, and the towns of Candelaria and San Cristobal in the province of Artemisa, as well as several towns on the Isle of Youth,” informed the National Seismology office. 

Tuesday’s is the fourth earthquake registered by the network of national stations so far this year, more frequently felt in the eastern part of the island.

In the 14ymedio newsroom, the tremor felt like a brief shake lasting a few seconds that caused a swaying in the 14-story building where the newspaper is located. Workers from the Ministry of Transportation, in Nuevo Vedado, in Havana, were evacuated.

“I was working on my computer and suddenly I felt that everything was moving, they immediately evacuated us all, I’m still sweating cold,” an employee told 14ymedio. In addition, workers from the Ministry of Foreign Trade, in Havana’s Vedado, were evacuated from their building. An employee said that it was “on the upper floors” where the quake was felt, but the entire building was evacuated.

Several tall buildings in the capital were evacuated as soon as the earthquake was felt. (14ymedio)

Also in Nuevo Vedado, one of the neighborhoods with the highest proportion of tall buildings, built thanks to the Soviet Union, several residents in flats from the tenth floor and up confirmed they had felt the tremor.

“I was in the kitchen cutting a pepper for lunch when I felt dizzy, I thought it was something in my vision but then I heard my husband yelling from a room,” said a woman from a concrete block building located in the vicinity of Boyeros and Tulipan streets.

“I was sitting at the table and the little girl was playing and I took her by the arm and everyone went out,” said a resident of Artemisa, where the earthquake was felt strongly. “It felt unpleasant,” he specified.

[In the hours following the earthquake Diario de Cuba reported: “the consequences of the tremor were “infrastructure damage to the San Cristobal Hospital and cracks in some streets and homes in the same municipality, according to locals.]

The civil defense authorities remain on alert for possible aftershocks.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.