Tremor jolts Antigua

ST. JOHN’S – Another warning that the country is overdue for a major earthquake has come following the latest 5.3 magnitude tremor, which jolted Antigua & Barbuda in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The latest caution comes from Acting Director of the UWI Seismic Center, Seismologist Dr. Joan Latchman.

“I think as people in our region based on the fact that we have not had our largest magnitude earthquake for more than 100 years that we should have measures in place that when this earthquake occurs that we will be prepared,” Dr. Latchman said.

“I would advise people to visit our website at where there is information and guidelines for what may be done before, during and after the earthquake.”

Preparation key

The seismologist said it is very important that residents are mentally prepared for this event so that when it occurs they do not panic which may cause them to make poor decisions.

Dr. Latchman said every 20 to 30 years an earthquake of around 7 magnitude occurs in the region, while around every 100 years an earthquake magnitude 8 or bigger occurs.

However the seismologist said Tuesday morning’s quake is not necessarily a precursor to the bigger earthquake.

Latchman’s comments came following similar warnings from the National Office of Disaster Services and the Antigua & Barbuda Meteorological Office.

In a release, NODS encouraged “residents to be more aware of earthquakes and their effects since Antigua & Barbuda lies within one of the most seismically active regions in the Caribbean.”

The UWI Seismic Center said the 2:56am quake occurred west of Barbuda at 17.66∞N and 62.10∞W and had a magnitude of 5.3 and depth 36 miles (58 km). (Antigua Observer)

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