BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday April 20, 2016 – Two earthquakes, one a 6.9 magnitude tremor east of Barbados, were registered in the Caribbean this morning, but neither caused damage or injury.
The larger of the two occurred around 6:52 a.m., 376 kilometres east of Bridgetown, Barbados; 532 km east of Castries, St. Lucia; and 555 km east south east of Fort-de-France, Martinique, according to University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Centre (SRC).
The preliminary strength of the quake, given in the automated earthquake location system, was 6.4 magnitude. However, it was later put at 6.9 magnitude, at a depth of 155 kilometres, after the results were reviewed by a seismologist.
Just about two hours earlier, at 4:56 a.m., a 3.0 magnitude quake occurred 59 kilometres north northeast of St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda; 121 kilometres east northeast of Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis; and 153 kilometres north of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.
Following the tremors, residents expressed concern on the SRC Facebook page about the frequency and intensity of earthquakes across the world.
Japan, Ecuador and Tonga were all hit by major earthquakes between last Thursday and Sunday.
Seismologist at the University of Colorado, Roger Bilham, has warned of a mega quake in the near future.
Closer home, Dr Joan Latchman of the SRC, says the region needs to prepare itself for a big earthquake, noting that the Eastern Caribbean has not seen a large quake since 1843 and people should be prepared for one to hit at any time.