ST JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda, Monday May 14, 2012 – The magnitude 4.0 earthquake recorded off the coast of Antigua last Friday (May 11) is a warning that the Caribbean should prepare for a much more severe earthquake to come.
This warning has again been sounded by the Seismic Research Unit in Trinidad and Tobago.
In confirming that an earthquake occurred 50 miles east of the Antigua and Barbuda capital around 5 a.m, seismologist Dr Joan Latchman reportedly stated that the region has not seen its largest earthquake for more than a century and, based on the historical data that indicated that the region has recorded a major earthquake every 100 years, the islands of the English-speaking Caribbean were overdue for one.
Dr Latchman has stated that the pattern in which earthquakes have occurred in the region has been consistent, although authorities cannot predict when and where it will happen.
This time last year the Trinidadian seismologist also warned residents of the region to brace for a major earth movement.
Speaking during a three-day visit to Nevis to make a presentation on disaster preparedness, Dr Latchman said Caribbean islands lie in an area of relatively high earthquake activity and that an earthquake of 8.0 could hit the Caribbean any day based on the patterns previously recorded.
According to the Seismic Research Centre, there have been a number of small earthquake activities taking place off Antigua & Barbuda although they have not been felt by residents.
Philmore Mullin, head of the National Office of Disaster Services has stated that Antigua & Barbuda would not only be very vulnerable to earthquakes but also tsunamis.
The region was earlier this month put on notice to prepare for tsunamis by the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission of UNESCO.