Strong earthquake jolts Caribbean islandsThursday, January 09, 2020
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2 rocked several Caribbean countries yesterday as countries in the region were being urged to continue monitoring the situation in Puerto Rico where two strong earthquakes have been blamed for the death of one man and damage to several buildings.
The Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of The University of the West Indies said that the quake occurred at 10.01 (local time) and was located Latitude: 15.18N; Longitude: 61.22W and at a depth of 123 kilometres (km).
The SRC said that the quake was felt 23 km south-east of Roseau in Dominica, as well as 66 km north-northwest of Fort-de-France, the capital of the French island of Martinique, and 124 km south-southeast of Point-à-Pitre, the capital of Guadeloupe.
The SRC said there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) yesterday joined SRC in urging Caribbean countries to monitor the situation in Puerto Rico.
CDEMA said it was advising member states “to continue to monitor the situation in Puerto Rico and to be guided by the alerts received from their respective NTWCs (National Tsunami Warning Centers) and by the established protocols outlined in their respective tsunami and coastal hazard plans”.
It said that together with the Regional Response Mechanism Partners, they will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates if the situation warrants.
On Tuesday, SRC said that the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico should serve as a reminder to the Caribbean “that our region is seismically active and we always need to be prepared”.
On Monday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 rocked Puerto Rico and it was followed by a stronger quake with a magnitude of 6.4 on Tuesday. The SRC said that Monday's quake was a “foreshock” to the quake on Tuesday.
The US Geological Survey said the quake also affected several other countries, including The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew A Fahie, in a broadcast, urged citizens to ensure that their properties were insured “because the reality is we are on the earthquake belt.
“I know that some of you may be concerned that with all this seismic activity, we as a territory should be thinking about the potential for a tsunami. Despite the frequency and strength of this series of events, thankfully DDM (Department of Disaster Management) has advised that there have been no tsunami watches or warnings issued, but rest assured we are on high alert.”
Fahie said that earthquakes are a part of life in the Virgin Islands, adding “they are the reason why we have such beautiful beaches and blue waters.
“Nature must be respected and we must be ready for these types of natural impacts. I, therefore, encourage us to remember that our foundation to protection is prayer. We started off 2020 in the hands of God, and we will continue to position ourselves and this territory in His hands,” he added.
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