Friday 30 October, 2020

UWI: Always be prepared; 9 earthquake events recorded on Friday

According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre there was a burst of earthquakes on Friday including moderate magnitude events at 10:40 am, 10:47 am, 4:30 pm and 6:05 pm local time, occurring west and south-west off Trinidad.

The UWI Seismic Research Centre in a press release said in all, there were nine events.

“The events were located between 10.5°N to 9.6°N and 61.7°W to 62.2°W. The magnitudes ranged from 3.4 to 5.2 and depths were generally shallow, less than 35 km. The earthquakes were reported as lightly felt across western Trinidad. No damage was reported.”

The UWI Seismic Research Centre said bursts of earthquakes do occur and are not necessarily indicative of the occurrence of a larger magnitude event.

However, it continues to advise, a significant magnitude earthquake can occur at any time.

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“Such an event might occur in the general area of these events or elsewhere in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago, which lies in an area where significant magnitude earthquakes do occur. For example, in the general area of today’s events, there were two earthquakes both of magnitude 6.5 in 1935 and 1945. We should, therefore, always be prepared.”

The UWI Seismic Research Centre on its website has outlined a number of ways one can prepare for an earthquake and what one can do during an earthquake.


Before an earthquake

- Build your home in accordance with the recommended building codes.

- Bolt heavy furniture, water tanks, water heaters, gas cylinders and storage units to a wall or floor.

- Place largest and heaviest items on lower shelves.

- Emergency items such as canned foods, medication, flashlights, battery-operated radios, fire extinguishers and a First Aid kit should be readily available and working properly.

- All family members should know how to use this emergency equipment and should know how to turn off electricity, gas and water using safety valves and main switches.

- All family members should know what to do during an earthquake and should practice these safety tips through regular drills.


During an earthquake

- Stay calm. Do not panic. Be alert.

- If inside stay inside, do not run out of the building.

- If inside, stand in a strong doorway or get under a sturdy desk, table or bed and hold on. Do not use elevators or stairs. Move away from windows, mirrors, glass doors, pictures, bookcases, hanging plants and heavy objects.

- If outside and there are no obvious signs of danger nearby, stay there.

- If outside, stay away from glass buildings, electricity poles, and bridges.

- If in a vehicle, do not stop on or under a bridge.

- Always look out for falling plaster, bricks, lighting fixtures and other objects.

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