Earthquakes off Barbados are aftershocks, UWI seismic unit says

aftershockssBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday September 30, 2015 – They may not have been felt by many, if any, residents, but the four earthquakes recorded off Barbados yesterday sent panic waves rippling throughout sections of the country.

And the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre has urged people not to panic, saying that those tremors and others experienced recently are aftershocks from the 6.6 magnitude quake that shook Barbados back in July.

“These tremors are part of the aftershock sequence from the magnitude 6 event that occurred earlier this year. Please remember that the region’s tectonic regime is very active and earthquakes occur on a frequent basis,” the centre said on its Facebook page as it stressed that “preparedness for these events are key to minimize the loss of life and property”.

“As we’ve been saying since all the events started earlier this year, earthquakes in the Eastern Caribbean are nothing new. As people who live in this tectonically active part of the world, we need to be prepared both at a personal and national level . . . Panicking over what you don’t know is never a good thing.”

The largest of them – a 5.0 magnitude quake – was the last recorded for the day. It occurred around 2:49 p.m., about 147 km northeast of the capital, Bridgetown; 275 km east of Castries, St. Lucia; and 297 km east southeast of Fort-de-France, Martinique.

5 magnitude

The 5.0 magnitude quake was the largest since the 6.6 that shook Barbados in mid-July.

It occurred in roughly the same area of two others earlier in the day. The first, a 4.6 magnitude quake, occurred at 8:41 a.m., about 144 km northeast of Bridgetown, 274 km east of Castries, and 297 km east southeast of Fort-de-France.

Around 12:12 p.m., a 4.8 magnitude tremor was recorded a kilometre away – 143 km northeast of Bridgetown, 273 km east of Castries, and 296 km east southeast of Fort-de-France.

The third one was a 4.1 magnitude quake occurring 122 km northeast of Bridgetown, 254 km east of Castries, and 280 km east southeast of Fort-de-France at 2:23 p.m.


Each of the events was followed by comments and queries from residents on the Seismic Centre’s Facebook page that demonstrated the fear, uncertainty and panic that has been associated with earthquake activity in the region in recent months.

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