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‘Big’ Caribbean earthquake coming seismologist warns

EarthquakeFrom CaribFlame

With two massive earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan last week, Trinidad-based seismologist Dr. Joan Latchman, has warned that the Caribbean should prepare for a ‘big one.’

In an interview with the Trinidad Express, Latchman said the Eastern Caribbean has a holding pattern of quakes from magnitude 7 to 7.9, every 20 to 30 years, noting that this pattern has stayed true.

She added that the Eastern Caribbean has not seen a large earthquake since 1843 and people should be prepared for its occurrence.

She told the Express that the time, date and magnitude of such an event cannot be predicted, but can warn for the next event in these patterns.

“It should be noted that earthquakes in the magnitude range 8.1-8.5 occur, somewhere in the world, on average every 12-18 months, so one in that magnitude range would be within the normal pattern. Several in that range would indeed be unusual,” Latchman remarked. “A great earthquake is overdue. Because of that and because of the nature of the seismic hazard, long-term preparation was required. We need to build the kind of buildings that can withstand that kind of shaking.”

In terms of the Ecuador and Japan quakes, Latchman said: “The current global seismicity does again appear to be signalling the imminence of an earthquake or earthquakes of magnitude greater than 8.5 in the short term. The imbalance in magnitude output currently being manifested is very reminiscent of that seen in 2004.”

aftershockss-1-1In 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 to 9.3 off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia triggered a tsunami, killing an estimated 300,000 people from 14 countries.

Dominica has experienced several earthquakes in recent times; the latest on April 12, when a 4.1 quake was felt in Portsmouth and other northern communities.

Other recent quakes felt in Dominica occurred in November 2015, December 2015, February 2016, and March 2016.

IMAGE: Photo: Web

Source/Dominica Online

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Related story:

UWI records two earthquakes in Caribbean on Wednesday (20)

By dominicanewsonline Source: From Antigua Observer

The Trinidad-based Seismic Research centre (SRC) at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) recorded two earthquakes in the Caribbean on Wednesday.

At 4:56 am a 3.0 quake was recorded NNE of Antigua.

A 6.9 earthquake shook Barbados at 6:52 am and was felt in St. Vincent.

The first quake took place at a depth of 10 km, 59 NNE of St. John’s, Antigua.

The second was located east of Barbados at a depth of 155 km.

There are no reports of damages from the quakes.

Several regional countries have been experiencing earthquakes in recent time and a seismologist has warned that a ‘big one’ is coming for the Caribbean.

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