If only it isn’t comfort to a fool

It isn’t likely: any big earthquake hitting Barbados any time soon, former Government geologist André Brathwaite has suggested. It’s quite remote.

Speaking just after the tremor felt by some Barbadians early Tuesday morning on account of a 6.4-magnitude earthquake east of Martinique, Mr Brathwaite said: “In my capacity as an experienced and qualified geologist who knows the Caribbean and Barbados very well, an earthquake occurring 120 miles away with an epicentre [the focal point of the quake] 100 miles deep is not considered an earthquake in our isle. That is nowhere near us.”

Tremors and aftershocks? Yes. The big one? No!

Our geologist says our “tectonic location” simply does not allow for any “devastating earthquake situation”.

Says Mr Brathwaite: “The other Caribbean islands, which are called the Island Arc, will have volcanoes and earthquakes, but you will never find one here [in Barbados], because we are not even really part of the Caribbean chain.”

Some people might say comfort words for a fool.

And it would appear the Director of the Seismic Research Unit of the University of the West Indies, Dr Joan Latchman, is among them. She has said that Tuesday’s earthquake has been the biggest to occur in the Barbados zone since 1980, and has warned Caribbean countries –– including Barbados –– to be prepared for a massive shake-up in the future.

“This would be an earthquake we don’t expect to see for tens of years . . . .”

Advised seismologist Dr Latchman: “So Barbadians should not have a complacency that earthquakes in the Eastern Caribbean do not affect them. An earthquake along the Arc just needs to be large enough. And in 2007 most Barbadians would have felt the earthquake that was located north of Martinique at a magnitude 7.3 and caused damage in Barbados.”

Alluding to a 1953 earthquake north west of St Lucia that also “caused damage in Barbados”, she argued that Barbados had had impact from earthquakes in the past; and she remains convinced Barbados will have impact from earthquakes in the future.

The cyclical or return period for our very large earthquakes is long, the seismologist has proffered –– “long enough for people to become complacent that such big earthquakes don’t happen”, and strong enough a point to oppose the position of our geologist Mr Brathwaite.

And with earthquakes frighteningly –– as Dr Latchman describes it ––  “alive and well”, and placing little Barbados in jeopardy, we are clearly being pushed at least to err on the side of caution. We need indeed to be prepared.

Dr Latchman, who has been warning the region for some time now to expect “a massive earthquake”, speaks of an increase in recorded seismic activity in the region since the start of this year.

“We have been seeing elevated activities in our region in the Trinidad area and in the Antigua area. So, yes, our regions have been showing particular zones. Even east of St Lucia we have been tracking a little elevation. So there are little zones that are manifesting elevation.”

And every day that passes, Dr Latchman’s humongous earthquake gets closer to us, the thought of which –– increased seismic activity or not –– is no pleasant anticipation. That there is grave cause for concern is an understatement.

Sadly, for all the monitoring and measurement of the quake activities in the region, our experts reman unable to give us a date, time and even specific place along the Eastern Caribbean Arc where the grand event would occur. As for location, we have a slate of choices –– from Antigua and Barbuda in the north to the Paria Peninsula of Venezuela in the south.

“And so all of us in all our countries, we need to be prepared, because we do not know just where this big earthquake will occur. But what we do know: no matter where it occurs, because earthquake waves travel, it means that even if you are 200 kilometres away from that big earthquake, you can experience significant tremors,” Dr Latchman tells us.

And while we wait with bated breath and palpitating hearts, the portentous seismologist tells us Bajans we may expect meanwhile to see
on average, every year, an earthquake in the magnitude 4.1 to 4.5 range and five of them in the 3.6 to 4.0 range.

The pre-shock of knowing what Dr Latchman insists awaits us does diminish, alas, Mr Brathwaite’s words of comfort.

21 Responses to If only it isn’t comfort to a fool

  1. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Ur the fool the earth much more older then u u for from god an u can’t even predict what the weather would be like tomorrow so don’t set ur self up to look stupid when its a common sense thing…..

    Reply
  2. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    U can only give ur opinion an leave it as that but ur no prophet…..

    Reply
  3. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    The wisdom of man is foolishness to God….

    Reply
  4. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    God is Omniscient/Eternal/can’t change,u live in time an time changes every minute an our world is degenerative u remember when montserrat volcano blow the smoke reach all the way over here

    Reply
  5. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Man will cry peace peace an safety then sudden destruction….

    Reply
  6. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Keep watch don’t sleep as do others….

    Reply
  7. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    God is Omniscient/Eternal/can’t change,u live in time an time changes every minute an our world is degenerative u remember when montserrat volcano blow the smoke reach all the way over here …

    Reply
  8. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    An God gives warning b4 destruction ….

    Reply
  9. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Things or changing look at all the lion fish now in Barbados an them big fish that came ashore the the other day things or happening we know little of so don’t water it down any more tell we as it really is…..

    Reply
  10. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Because if something was to take place we would be on prepared for it don’t be foolish keep ur eyes an ears open at all times….

    Reply
  11. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Because no men made technology can really master the behaviour of the earth an sky

    Reply
  12. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Somethings men can’t control…

    Reply
  13. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    We have control over what we do an that’s about it…..

    Reply
  14. Adrian M Chase
    Adrian M Chase February 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    The man is going by what he is trained in…..geez. Bible thumpers can’t wait for an event to start preaching doom. Yet everyday we depend on their knowledge and training for the weather reports….wow.

    Reply
  15. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 23, 2014 at 3:27 am

    Thanks Derek Gale…

    Reply
  16. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 23, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Adrian M Chase ur a fool I have said any thing new I’m just reminding u of what was said b4 I have no new doctrines same old same old story it never change,U an I have doe an the world is changing ever minute as we speak its common sense… ..

    Reply
  17. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 23, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Adrian M Chase ur a fool I haven’t said any thing new I’m just reminding u of what was said b4 I have no new doctrines same old same old story it never change,U an I have doe an the world is changing ever minute as we speak its common sense… ..

    Reply
  18. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 23, 2014 at 3:36 am

    An I don’t depend on the weather man for news on weather b4 TV man look at the sky an knew when rain was coming,cause what he says can’t stop the rain from falling just so u know believe every thing a TV tells u an see how for u get…….

    Reply
  19. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder February 23, 2014 at 3:51 am

    What news u really reading people said this year was one of the coldest years in a long time we or only human earthquake an them things or nuffin to push off an thing Ooo it wouldnt happen,all I’m saying is be ready for anything yes we or in a safer place then many country’s but we or not exempted from disasters so don’t play powerful foolishness it wouldnt save u …..

    Reply
  20. Adrian M Chase
    Adrian M Chase February 23, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Wow….^^^….Troll.

    Reply
  21. Adrian M Chase
    Adrian M Chase February 23, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Try reading any book on Plate Tectonics and understand what the man is saying before posting the same crap multiple times.
    You don’t depend in the weather man? How do you prepare for the Hurricane season? . …. by looking out the window too…..lol.

    Reply

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