Saturday 18 January, 2020

UWI SRC debunks viral messages: You can't predict earthquakes

Contrary to the claims being spouted by a voice note circulating via social media, it is impossible to predict an earthquake.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre issued a statement on Wednesday after a voice note circulated on social media claiming that another big earthquake was due to happen.

A woman was recorded mentioning 'radar moving uncontrollably', and asked persons to share the information.

On social media, another woman who described herself as a psychic and 'medical visionary' claimed to have predicted the earthquake, and told the public to look out for aftershocks. 

The UWI SRC has since rubbished these claims and reminded the public that there is no way to predict an earthquake.

"It has come to our attention that persons have been circulating warnings predicting earthquakes affecting Trinidad and Tobago today August 22, 2018."

"Earthquakes CANNOT be predicted. After yesterday's M6.9 earthquake, aftershocks have occurred and will continue to occur in the coming days and weeks."

The Centre urged the public to continue to monitor its social media channels and website as well as the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) for official information.

Citizens have been sharing videos and photos of damages to buildings and other property sustained after Tuesday's 6.9 earthquake which caused consternation across the country.

The UWI Seismic Research Centre warned of aftershocks as another 5.9 tremor shook the country on Wednesday morning.

The Devil's Woodyard mud volcano also experienced some activity at the time of Tuesday's earthquake, however there has been no loss of life from any of these events.

The UWI, several government agencies and some companies announced closure on Wednesday in order to assess minor damages to the structures. 

Citizens are advised to keep a list of emergency numbers handy and monitor official media channels for updates.


Diego Martin Regional Corporation: 800-DMRC (3672)

San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation: 800-SLRC (7572)

Arima Borough Corporation: 800-2ABC (2222)

Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation: 800-TPRC (8272)

Port-of-Spain City Corporation: 800-PSCC (7722)

Sangre Grande Regional Corporation: 800-SGRC (7472)

Chaguanas Borough Corporation: 800-DCBC (3222)

Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation: 800-CTTC (2882)

Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation: 800-4MRC (4672)

Princes Town Regional Corporation: 800-PTRC (7872)

Point Fortin Borough Corporation: 800-PFBC (7322)

San Fernando City Corporation: 800-SCDU (7238)

Penal/Debe Regional Corporation: 800-PDRC (7372)

Siparia Regional Corporation: 800-4SRC (4772)

ODPM: 511

TEMA (Tobago Emergency Management Agency): 211

Coast Guard: 634-4440

Fire: 990

Ambulance: 811

Police: 999, 555

Ambulance: 811


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