Nov 08

Increased level of felt earthquakes in the Trinidad and Tobago Area

St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I. –7th November, 2018 11:30AM –On Tuesday 21st August, at 5:31PM local time, a strong earthquake occurred off the coast of eastern Venezuela, about 130 km west of Port of Spain, Trinidad at a depth of 127 km. This strong event was of magnitude 6.9 and was widely reported as felt in Trinidad and Tobago and neighbouring islands, with some damage in Trinidad.
In addition, during the period 26th-28th January, 2018, there was a burst of more than 20 earthquakes in the Gulf of Paria, about 70 km south-west of Port of Spain; the largest was of magnitude 5.3 at a depth of 23 km.
Moderate to strong earthquakes such as these, are usually associated with aftershocks, with those at shallow depth producing a higher number. The earthquakes currently being recorded, in the Gulf of Paria, with some being felt, is in keeping with the pattern expected after such events. The other areas around Trinidad will continue to produce their normal annual magnitude output; on average, we expect just over 50 events of magnitude greater than 3.5 every year. In that context, given the two areas in the Gulf of Paria that are currently adjusting following significant magnitude earthquakes and the annual, expected events in the other, surrounding zones, the earthquake activity being seen is normal.
The activity currently being recorded has little bearing on the larger magnitude earthquake, like the one that occurred in 1766 (approx. M7.9), that can happen at any time. Therefore, we here in Trinidad and Tobago, along with all relevant, regional agencies and communities, must continue to ensure that all necessary measures are in place to respond appropriately to any large magnitude earthquake which may potentially cause significant damage and loss of life.
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