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EARTHQUAKE AWARENESS
Friday 17th July 2015

In light of recent seismic activity throughout the region, the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) is reiterating the importance of earthquake awareness among residents and the need to take the necessary steps to protect life.

The Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, reported that a series of earthquakes shook north-east of Barbados on Thursday. The first earthquake occurred around 7.01 am and registered a magnitude of 5.9. This was followed by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake at 11.16 am and three other events measuring 4.1, 5.3 and 3.8 respectively. The 6.4 magnitude earthquake was reportedly felt in Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. No tsunami warnings were issued for the Caribbean.

Director of NODS Philmore Mullin says the recent activity is not unusual as the region is located in a seismically active zone. “It is not sufficient for us to become concerned when there is a swarm of earthquakes and after we go back to business as usual. These are tell tale signs and reminders of the geographical space we live in and the state of vulnerability”, says Mullin.

He revealed that a few years ago Antigua and Barbuda had about 29 earthquakes, over a period of one month, some large enough to be felt.

The NODS Director points out that over the last few years the Seismic Research Unit has been putting out an annual report that suggests the Caribbean is overdue for a major earthquake. “We need to take steps, first and foremost to protect ourselves. We need to ensure our family members know what to do when these earthquakes occur. We also need to make sure that if our community is impacted we are able to assist our communities in getting back on their feet, which suggests we have to be trained and be aware and so forth”, says Mullin

Schools and workplaces must also be a part of the process. “We need to ensure that principals and teachers in our schools ensure that our children practice regularly and that both the public and private sectors do the same. This is one of the tested and proven ways that people will do what they should when something happens”, says Mullin.


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