Wednesday 2 December, 2020

UWI SRC: No tsunami warning following earthquake near Dominica

The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) is advising members of the public that no tsunami warning has been issued for the magnitude 5.2 earthquake that occurred south of Dominica on Wednesday morning. 

This follows the spread of fake news on social media regarding the incident. 

Around 10 am, the quake struck south-east of Dominica's capital, Roseau. Its effects were also felt north-north-west of Fort-de-France, Martinique and south-south-east of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

In dispelling concerns about a tsunami warning, the UWI-SRC outlined the four conditions necessary for that to occur:

(1) The earthquake must occur beneath the ocean or cause material to slide into the ocean;

(2) It must be very strong, at least magnitude 6.5;

(3) The temblor must rupture the surface (seabed) and it must occur at shallow depth – less than 70km below the surface of the earth;

(4) The quake must also cause the vertical movement (up/down) of the seafloor (up to several metres).

"None of these occurred during this event. It should be highlighted that there is a protocol in place should a tsunami be generated and the centre will alert the public as needs be. The UWI-SRC remains the authority on the geological hazards that can impact our region and we urge the public to verify information before sharing," it said. 

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