PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, March 16, 2018 (CMC) – An earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.0, rattled Trinidad and Tobago, late last night, but there were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.
The Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said that the quake occurred at 10.49 pm (local time) and had a depth of 26 kilometers (KM).
It said that the location was Latitude: 10.85N, Longitude: 62.16 and was felt 75 km west north west (WNW ) of Port of Spain, 100 WNW of Arima, and 02 km north-west of San Fernando, south of here.
In recent months, Trinidad and Tobago has been experiencing a number of earthquakes, and a senior official of the SRC has warned the country to be prepared for a major quake.
Seismologist, Dr Illias Papadopoulos, speaking at a Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain meeting, yesterday, said that the city could sink below the ground, in the event of a major earthquake, as he warned that the region should prepare for an earthquake, with a magnitude in excess of seven.
He acknowledged that while an earthquake cannot be predicted, the region expects an earthquake, a major quake is due every 27 years and it is long overdue.
Papadoupolos told the Rotarians that there has been “vivid” earthquake activity in the region in recent years, with an average of 2,200 small earthquakes being recorded each year, and that two specific earthquakes, located north of the Gulf of Paria and within the Gulf of Paria, are posing a major threat.
“This area is actually ready to give one of the biggest earthquakes that we expect here, which probably will be a magnitude of 7 or 7.5,” he said, adding “these two zones are the ones that we consider most highly-likely to give us the next big event in the years to come”.
He said the city of Port of Spain is at a greater risk of devastation because of water saturation.
“There is a lot of water in the land, especially on the coast…you can dig a metre down and you will find water,” he said, warning the land would “move like water” in the event of a major earthquake, in a process called liquefaction.
“This is something of special concern, especially for Port of Spain. Port of Spain is in grave danger.”