Published On: Tue, Jul 21st, 2015

Three quakes within 15 minutes as seismic activity continues off Barbados

mon-night-quakeBRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Three more earthquakes with strengths of between 4.0 and 4.5 magnitude were recorded within a 15-minute span late yesterday evening, as heightened seismic activity continued to the northeast of Barbados.

The UWI Seismic Research Centre reported that a 4.3 magnitude tremor occurred at 6:59 p.m., 116 km northeast of Bridgetown, 236 km east of Castries, St. Lucia and 260 km east southeast of Fort-de-France, Martinique.

A handful of people on the centre’s Facebook page said they felt the shaking from that event.

A 4.5 magnitude quake was recorded nine minutes later. The epicenter of that tremor was located 136 km northeast of Bridgetown, 260 km east of Castries, and 283 km east south east of Fort-de-France.

At 7:13 p.m., the third, measuring 4.0 magnitude, occurred 106 km northeast of Bridgetown, 228 km east of Castries, and 253 km southeast of Fort-de-France.

More than 20 earthquakes have occurred around the same general area in the past five days, the most intense of which was a 6.4 magnitude tremor last Thursday that was felt by residents of several Caribbean countries, including Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago.

In addition to those reported by the Seismic Research Centre, several smaller quakes with magnitudes of less than 3.8 have occurring, the Trinidad-based unit said.

“This is simply the earth adjusting to the stress changes that resulted from the earthquake,” the centre said over the weekend.

While Caribbean residents have expressed concern that the seismic activity could be the lead up to a major event, the Seismic Research Centre has indicated that the earthquakes of the size and frequency currently being experienced “do not by themselves suggest anything more menacing is coming”.

“However, this region has had larger events in the past and we do expect to have large and possibly damaging events in the future,” it added, as it urged residents to get themselves acquainted with what should be done during and after a quake.


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