Two earthquakes shake three islands

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, February 28, 2007 – Two earthquakes shook three Caribbean islands just hours apart yesterday morning but there were no reports of injuries or damage.

At 5:42 am Eastern Standard Time Antiguans were roused when a strong earthquake shook the central Caribbean.

In Antigua the seismic wave measured 4.6 on the Richter Scale (VI on the Modified Mercalli Scale). Residents in Jolly Harbour in Antigua as well as residents in neighbouring St Kitts felt the shock wave which was centered near 25 kilometers (km) east of Antigua at a depth of 51 km. There were no reports of damage or injury.

The Richter Scale is used by scientists to measure energy while the Modified Mercalli Scale used to measure intensity and the effect at the surface of the earth. At 4.6, the quake was strong enough to be felt and to move unstable objects but rarely would it cause structural damage.

Just under four hours later, at 9:26 am Eastern Standard Time, a moderate earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter Scale and centered about 90 km west of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad was felt by Trinidadian residents in Diego Martin, Bayshore, El Socorro, Curepe and the capital Port of Spain. Though it was strong enough to be felt, it would rarely cause any major damage.

The Seismic Research Unit in Trinidad said that this quake in Trinidad was not an aftershock of last Friday’s shake which occurred at approximately 10:48 am Eastern Standard Time and measuring 4.7. This one was felt in Arima, Cunupia, San Fernando, Point Lisas in Trinidad as well as Tobago and Upper Hopewell, St. Vincent. There was one small aftershock.