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Wednesday 26 June 2019
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Increased earthquakes felt in TT normal

File photo. Image courtesy UWI Seimic Centre shows the August 22, 2018 earthquake.
File photo. Image courtesy UWI Seimic Centre shows the August 22, 2018 earthquake.

The University of West Indies Seismic Research Centre says the increased level of earthquakes felt in TT was normal.

In a release Wednesday the centre said on Tuesday at 5.31 pm a strong earthquake occurred off the coast of eastern Venezuela, about 130 km west of Port of Spain at a depth of 127 km. This strong event was of magnitude 6.9 and was widely reported as felt in TT and neighbouring islands, with some damage in Trinidad.

The centre said during the period January 26-28 there was a burst of more than 20 earthquakes in the Gulf of Paria, about 70 km south-west of Port of Spain. The largest of the earthquakes was of magnitude 5.3 at a depth of 23 km.

"Moderate to strong earthquakes such as these, are usually associated with aftershocks, with those at shallow depth producing a higher number. The earthquakes currently being recorded, in the Gulf of Paria, with some being felt, is in keeping with the pattern expected after such events. The other areas around Trinidad will continue to produce their normal annual magnitude output; on average, we expect just over 50 events of magnitude greater than 3.5 every year. In that context, given the two areas in the Gulf of Paria that are currently adjusting following significant magnitude earthquakes and the annual, expected events in the other, surrounding zones, the earthquake activity being seen is normal."

The centre said the activity currently being recorded has little bearing on the larger magnitude earthquakes – like the one that occurred in 1766 at approximately magnitude 7.9 – that can happen at any time.

"Therefore, we here in TT, along with all relevant, regional agencies and communities, must continue to ensure that all necessary measures are in place to respond appropriately to any large magnitude earthquake which may potentially cause significant damage and loss of life."

The centre added that additional information may be found at www.uwiseismic.com or on Facebook @uwiseismic.

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