Caribbean Earthquake Shakes Antigua, St Kitts, Guadeloupe, St Eustatius


Above: a map of the quake (USGS)

By Alexander Britell

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake caused moderate to strong shaking across the northeastern Caribbean Tuesday morning, according to the United States geological survey.

The quake, whose epicentre was 38 kilometres west-southwest of Codrington, Babuda, occurred at a depth of 48.9 kilometres.

It struck at approximately 2:56 AM local time.

The quake caused the strongest shaking in St Kitts and Nevis and St Eustatius , while causing moderate shaking in St Maarten and Antigua.

A spokesperson at the National Disaster Management Agency in Basseterre told Caribbean Journal that no reports of damages or injuries had been received.

An officer at the Office of National Disaster Services in Antigua told Caribbean Journal that there had not been any reports of damage or injuries, although the quake woke up many from sleep.

The earthquake was felt as far south as Guadeloupe, where it caused weak shaking, according to the USGS. There was one report of shaking felt as far west as San Juan.

The Caribbean is a seismically active region. Dr Joan Latchman, director of the Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies, has warned that for a large-scale earthquake in the region, the question is when, not if.

As a point of comparison, the devastating quake in Port-au-Prince recorded a 7.0 on the Richter scale.