Sun | Feb 5, 2023

Minor quake rocks Jamaica

Published:Thursday | April 15, 2010 | 12:00 AM

An earthquake rocked sections of Kingston, as well as Portmore, St Catherine, yesterday around 3:51 p.m.

The earthquake, with its epicentre located near Chestervale, St Andrew, had a magnitude of 3.7 and a focal depth of 9.9 km.

It was reportedly felt in Half-Way Tree, Mona, New Kingston, Havendale, Stony Hill, downtown Kingston and Portmore.

Head of the University of the West Indies Earthquake Unit, Dr Lynden Brown, told The Gleaner that although the quake was minor, aftershocks could be experienced.

However, he said the aftershocks would be mild.

Prelude to bigger event

Brown further said the possibility existed for a bigger event, as the quake could also have been the foreshock to a more massive event.

"The quake could be the foreshock to a bigger event, so persons need to start thinking about what steps they would take if a bigger event occurs," he said.

The Office of Disaster Prepared-ness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) also implored Jamaicans to take the necessary precautions should another earthquake occur.

"Remember, earthquakes cannot be predicted. Therefore, our vulner-ability to earthquakes is always imminent. How well you survive an earthquake depends on how prepared you are for one. Preparation is the key," the ODPEM stated in a release.

The earthquake occurred hours after more than 600 people died as a result of a 7.1-magnitude quake that hit northwest China's Qinghai province.

What to do before, during and after an earthquake

Always have on hand emergency kits.

Practise earthquake drills at schools, homes and offices.

Look around your school, home and offices for things that could fall and injure you.


Be calm. If you are inside, stay there.

Get under heavy furniture such as a sturdy desk or table.

Do not rush to exits.

If you are outside, stay there. Avoid the hazards, which could cause injury.

If you are in a vehicle, drive away from bridges and stop in the safest place possible.


Evacuate the building immediately after the shaking stops.

Be prepared for additional aftershocks.

Listen to the radio and follow emergency instructions.