Earthquake hits close to Martinique; two more quakes near Barbados

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FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique, Saturday August 8, 2015 – An early morning earthquake has been recorded a short distance from the French island of Martinique, and close to St. Lucia and Dominica.

According to initial data from the UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC), the epicenter of the 3.9 magnitude quake that occurred around 1:37 a.m. was about 22 km northeast of Fort-de-France, Martinique; 75 km north of Castries, St. Lucia; and 84 km southeast of Roseau, Dominica. The depth was 79 km.

The pre-dawn earthquake followed two more intense tremors off Barbados the previous afternoon.

earthquakes bdos

A map showing where the first afternoon tremor (left) and the one that followed less than an hour later (right) hit.

The first 4.6 magnitude tremor occurred at 2:21 p.m., about 234 km northeast of the capital, Bridgetown; 350 km of Castries and 363 km east of Fort-de-France. The depth of that was recorded at 110 km.

About 50 minutes later, around 3:10 p.m., a 4.5 magnitude quake hit a bit closer to the islands – 121 km northeast of Bridgetown, 240 km east of Castries and 264 km east southeast of Fort-de-France.

On Tuesday, a 3.8 magnitude earthquake occurred 141 km to the northeast of Barbados at a depth of 72 km.

The latest events prompted residents to question the SRC on its Facebook page about why the tremors had resumed off Barbados’ northeast, after a break that followed almost two weeks of frequent tremors last month.

The SRC reiterated that this is a seismically active region and earthquakes are not unusual.

It also said the tremors were “most likely” aftershocks from the 6.6 magnitude quake (originally recorded at 6.4 magnitude) that shook Barbados, and were felt in parts of St. Lucia, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and Martinique on July 16.

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