“I can’t believe I’m doing this!” The words burst unbidden from my mouth when I spotted my mode of transport to Anguilla from St Maarten on September 23.
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Panorama final rocked by tremor but 4.9 quake fails to shake All Stars
A 4.9 magnitude earthquake shook north Trinidad at 1.27 am yesterday, while the band Neal & Massy All Stars was performing in the Panorama final at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. But it did little, if nothing, to deter the band from grabbing second place. Pan lovers reported that the quake was “long and hard” and “had the Savannah shaking.” The quake, coming almost at the official start of Carnival celebrations and two days of abandon, gave residents in north Trinidad quite a scare.
Frightened people e-mailed messages to each other. Some sent e-mails saying it was probably Satan working his way to the surface to be on the streets for Carnival Monday and Tuesday. The University of the West Indies’s Seismic Research Unit reported yesterday that the earthquake occurred north of the Paria Peninsula and was located at 11.08°N and 62.04°W.
“The magnitude was 4.9 and the depth 110km...There were felt reports from Glencoe Trinidad,” it stated. The Seismic Research Unit noted the results were preliminary and may vary slightly when additional data is processed. Head of the unit, Dr Joan Latchman, said it is not when you feel an earthquake you should get worried. She insisted citizens of T&T especially must always be prepared, since a big earthquake is due in the region anytime.
Noting that T&T is in a seismically active region, Latchman said the last big earthquake in T&T occurred over two centuries ago in 1766, measuring close to 8 magnitude. The last big one in the Eastern Caribbean measured around 8.8 and took place in 1843, she said. “The Caribbean plates and the North and South American plates are converging at a rate of two centimetres per year,” she added.
“This means our big earthquakes take a long time to come...But we should expect to get a big one and must always be prepared,” Latchman warned. “We could not have predicted an earthquake was going to happen at 1.27 Sunday morning.”
She said earthquakes measuring between 4.6 and 5.0 in magnitude usually occur in the Eastern Caribbean seismic zone on an average of twice per year. Bigger quakes measuring between 6.1 and 6.97 usually occur every ten to 15 years. For more tips, you can check out the unit’s Web site at uwiseismic.com