Venezuela Earthquake Shakes Trinidad, Southern Caribbean

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - August 21, 2018

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit Venezuela on Tuesday, rocking northern Venezuela and causing strong tremors across much of the southern Caribbean.

The quake, which struck at 5:31 PM local time, was felt most strongly in neighboring Trinidad and Tobago, while reports of shaking were reported in Grenada, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Martinique, Montserrat, Curacao and Aruba.

The quake, which lasted for about a minute, stunned Trinidad, as cans fell off supermarket shelves, walls cracked in residential and commercial buildings and there were reports of power outages across the island and some downed traffic lights.

According to Minister of National Security Stuart Young, the country’s electrical utility was already addressing areas without electricity.

The damage also included Trinidad’s Centipede Island, where a corner of a hill reportedly crumbled into the sea.

There were not yet any reports of injuries in Trinidad and Tobago, however.

The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre reported the quake as 6.9 on the Richter scale, at a depth of 86 kilometers.

A map of shaking report points.

It was the most powerful earthquake in the Caribbean since January, when a 7.6-magnitude quake struck in the middle of the Western Caribbean, close to the Cayman Islands.

As a point of comparison, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti was a 7.0-magnitude on the Richter scale.

The Caribbean is a seismically active region; the UWI Seismic Research Centre has long warned the region to improve its resilience in that regard.


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