Caribbean warned to be prepared as major earthquakes hit Puerto Rico
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Tuesday 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 another quake with a magnitude of 5.4 on Tuesday.
The centre said that Monday’s quake was a “foreshock” to the 6.4 quake on Tuesday.
A foreshock is an earthquake that occurs before a larger seismic event.
US officials said power outages and damage have been reported near the island’s southern coast including in the city of Ponce where a 77-year-old man was killed and at least eight others injured.
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.
In recent days, several Caribbean countries have been rocked by earthquakes ranging in magnitudes from 3.9 to 4.3.
“The recent earthquakes around Puerto Rico serves as a reminder that our region is seismically active and we always need to be prepared,” the centre said, adding that “although we do not monitor that area, sharing of knowledge is key to better understanding and living with these geological hazards.”