Two Caribbean Earthquakes spawn warning of more, larger temblors
The Acting Director of the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr Joan Latchman, is warning Caribbean countries to be prepared for an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).
CMC said that the warning came after Trinidad and Tobago was shaken by a 5.1 magnitude quake on Sunday night.
Latchman said, according to CMC, that while the region has not had a major earthquake for the last 100 years, she is predicting that one with a magnitude of 8.0 could hit the Caribbean any day.
“Our largest earthquake close to Trinidad occurred in 1756 which is more than 200 years ago. The largest one in the Eastern Caribbean occurred in 1843 which is more than a 100 years ago, the region is poised for a large earthquake,” she said on a radio programme in Trinidad.
Latchman said that Sunday’s earthquake was part of a series of earthquakes that began in September 2006 when one of the tremors registered a magnitude of 5.8, the highest registered on land in Trinidad-since the Seismic Unit has been monitoring earthquakes.
The Trinidad earthquake struck near the north coast of Trinidad on Sunday night, startling some members of the public who felt the tremors throughout the island.
Tobago did not report any tremors. The quake occurred at 9.01 p.m., according to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre.
The UWI centre said the quake was felt from Carenage to Moruga and Matura.
The centre's website said the event was located at 10.714 degrees north and 61.404 degrees west with a depth of 40.08 kilometres.
Some members of the public who called the Express yesterday recalled hearing a rumbling just before the quake struck. The quake, some of them suggested, lasted a mere three to four seconds.
Meanwhile, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and management (ODPM), in a release yesterday, said that in light of the quake it has put first responder agencies on alert to render assistance in the event of aftershocks.
An earthquake rated at 5.4 hit Puerto Rico on Christmas Eve. The two events stuck fear in the minds of those still attempting to begin the recovery from the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.