A whole lot of Shaking

Across the island this morning, Barbadians were sent into a state of panic as a series of earthquakes hit the island.

The tremors, the largest of which was measured at 6.5 on the Richter scale –  according to the US Geological Survey (USGS) – sent people scampering from their homes, offices and even supermarkets, as they rushed to safety.

The events brought back memories of the 7.4 earthquake which rocked Barbados back in 2007, and caused structural damage to buildings.

The effects were felt from the north of the island in St Lucy, to as far south as Christ Church, where several businesses were forced to evacuate staff.

This was a common scene across Barbados today as people evacuated buildings for safety in the open.
This was a common scene across Barbados today as people evacuated buildings for safety in the open.
Construction workers at Chelston Park taking a break.
Construction workers at Chelston Park taking a break.
Employees seeking  refuge outside Williams Towers in Warrens, St Michael said they felt the building sway.
Employees seeking refuge outside Williams Towers in Warrens, St Michael said they felt the building sway.

Such was the scene at Gildan Active Wear, located in Newton, Christ Church, where fire officers were summoned.

Officers from the Worthing Fire Station, summoned to Gildan Active Wear in Newton, Christ Church.
Officers from the Worthing Fire Station, summoned to Gildan Active Wear in Newton, Christ Church.

When a team from Barbados TODAY visited just after noon today, scores of workers could be seen huddled together near the ABC highway, a safe distance from the building which houses the clothing manufacturing company.

Station Officer, Denton Foster of the Worthing Fire Station, said management of the company raised the alarm after they felt the tremor and suggested, evacuation of the building.

He revealed that one fire tender and four officers under the command of Leading Fire Officer, Andrew Boyce, from the Worthing Fire Station responded to the incident.

Over in Warrens, employees in the Williams Towers recalled feeling the building swaying from side to side.

According to Rommel Sargeant, Corporate Care Executive and Floor Monitor at Digicel, it was very scary.

“To be honest it was terrifying. The whole building started to shake. I thought probably it was just some guys doing some work to the right of the building, but then it started to shake again and then we realized it wasn’t normal, and everyone started to head out then,” he explained as he stood outside waiting for the ‘all clear’ to be given.

A woman who chose not to be identified, said she was on the top floor of the building when the third earthquake hit.

“The entire building just shook. We were at the top of the building and it just went from side to side so that was kind of scary,” she explained.

However, Digicel’s Marc Massiah, who was also in the Williams Towers when the tremor hit, told Barbados TODAY he felt absolutely nothing.

“I didn’t feel anything and if the men still working on the scaffolding opposite the building is anything to go by, they didn’t feel anything either, so I don’t know what this is about.”

He said he was sitting at his desk with a glass of water and it didn’t even shake.

Over at the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Anita Alleyne recalled becoming frightened when the wall she was leaning on at work began to move.

“I told them the wall moving on my back and they [her co-workers] started laughing at me. I said don’t laugh at me, I serious.”

After running out of the building, the situation was explained to her and she was able to quickly calm down.

Her colleague, Sonja Jemmott interjected that when the incident occurred she asked Alleyne  “who water you went and gimme and got my head giddy?”

“I did frightened and did want to know what gin on,” she added.

Source: (RB/ RT/ NC)

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