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5.5 earthquake jolts Caribbean islands

5.5 earthquake jolts Caribbean islands

Friday, February 09, 2018

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 jolted several Caribbean islands on Friday but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies said that the quake, which occurred at 1.43 pm (local time), was felt in Barbuda, St Kitts and St Maarten.

It said it was located Latitude: 18.71N, Longitude: 61.43W and at a depth of 10 kilometres.

“The event occurred north of Barbuda and was reported felt in St Kitts and St Maarten,” the SRC said.

In recent weeks, several Caribbean countries have been rattled by earthquakes and in January an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 jolted the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa as well as the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and Belize.

Last month, Trinidad and Tobago was rattled by two earthquakes within a one week period. They measured 4.5 and 4.7 respectively.

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Expect a significant earthquake at anytime – UWI

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jan. 28, CMC – The Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus, says the twin island republic could experience a significant magnitude earthquake at anytime.
earthquakeeAccording to the centre, on Friday there was a burst of earthquakes including moderate magnitude events at 10:40 am, 10:47 am, 4:30 pm and 6:05 pm (local time), occurring west and south-west off Trinidad.
The UWI Seismic Research Centre in a press release said in all, there were nine events.
“The events were located between 10.5°N to 9.6°N and 61.7°W to 62.2°W. The magnitudes ranged from 3.4 to 5.2 and depths were generally shallow, less than 35 km. The earthquakes were reported as lightly felt across western Trinidad. No damage was reported.”
The Centre noted that a significant earthquake might occur in the general area of these events or elsewhere in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago, which lies in an area where significant magnitude earthquakes do occur.

“For example, in the general area of today’s events, there were two earthquakes both of magnitude 6.5 in 1935 and 1945. We should, therefore, always be prepared,” the centre said.

All the way north, Montserrat and other islands are alerting residents to Tsunami warnings.

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Massive earthquake jolts Caribbean

TEGUCIGALPA, Jan. 10, CMC –  A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean region between the coast of Honduras and the Cayman Islands late Tuesday – one of the strongest quakes to hit the region in recent times.

earthquakeHonduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said the Central American nation had activated its emergency system and asked people to remain calm.

The earthquake  was also felt across northern Central America,  this prompted the US Tsunami Warning Centre to issue a statement that hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 621 miles of  the quake’s epicentre.

These included the coastal areas of Jamaica, Mexico, Cuba, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

According to  the US Geological Survey, the quake was very shallow and this would have amplified the effect of a tsunami

The US Tsunami Center later cancelled the alert, but warned some parts of  Honduras and Belize were still at risk from waves of  up to a metre.

In Honduras, firefighters said some residents in southern neighborhoods fled their homes after feeling the tremors.

There were no reports of  damage.

The magnitude 7.6 earthquake was one of the strongest ever measured in the region, occurred almost eight years after a 7.0 magnitude quake devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that ninety-two earthquakes were recorded in Jamaica last year.

Scientific Officer at the Earthquake Unit at The University of  the West Indies Mona Campus, Karleen Black, says felt earthquake reports were received for eight events with magnitudes ranging from 3.1 to 3.6.

Speaking at the launch of Earthqukae Awareness Week on Monday, Black said while Jamaica has experienced several tremors, the last major event was the great Kingston earthquake of 1907, which caused more than 1,000 deaths, damaged numerous buildings and started several fires.

The 1692 Port Royal quake was perhaps the largest and most damaging, with about 5,000 deaths from the quake itself and the subsequent outbreak of yellow fever. A section of the town sank into the sea.

Earthquake Awareness Week is being observed from January 7-13 under the theme ‘Preparing for the Quake Helps Reduce Damage After the Shakes’. n

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