Trinidad and Tobago marked safe from 6.2 earthquake

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A map showing the origin point of an earthquake that rocked TT, Venezuela and surrounding countries at around 11.58pm on Saturday. PHOTO COURTESY UWI SEISMIC RESEARCH CENTRE –

THERE have been no reports of damage coming from a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that shook the region just before midnight on June 22, despite the earthquake shaking most areas in Trinidad and several areas in Tobago.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness (ODPM) submitted reports from the southwest cluster of TT at 11 am on Sunday which gave all clears from the Penal/Debe, Siparia and Point Fortin borough corporations.

The Diego Martin Borough Corporation’s Disaster Management Unit confirmed that there was a brief power outage in Carenage, but power was returned within a half-hour.

In Tobago, Dr Faith BYisrael confirmed the quake was felt in several areas, but she received no reports of damage.

“It was felt in varying areas across the island,” she said. “I did not feel it though.”

Several regional health authorities also confirmed that they were not disrupted by the quake.

“Initial damage assessments were conducted at our facilities and reports confirmed no damage to building and equipment at this time,” the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) said in a media release on Sunday.

“The ERHA disaster co-ordinating team will continue to monitor the situation.”

The North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) also confirmed that its facilities sustained no damage.

“All emergency protocols were promptly activated to ensure the safety and well-being of all patients and staff,” the NCRHA said in a release. “All hospital services continue to be available without interruption.”

The North West Regional Health Authority also confirmed no damage after what was described as “thorough” inspections of the facilities.

Sources from the ministry of works and the energy ministry also confirmed there was neither any damage to roads or any other infrastructure, nor to any energy assets.

Newsday was told that, as per protocol, technical teams would begin inspecting bridges to ensure they were not affected by the quake.

TT shaken, stirred

At 11.58 pm on Saturday the region was rocked by the quake. Its epicentre was 97 km northwest of Port of Spain at a depth of 46 km.

Reports of the tremors came from as far as Grenada according to online reports but the TT Weather Centre said tremors affected Caraúpuano, Venezuela.

The shaking reportedly lasted for 30-35 seconds.

The UWI Seismic Research Centre and the Venezuelan Foundation for Seismological Research also reported five aftershocks. They were described as minor to light with the largest of the aftershocks occurring at 3.47 am at a magnitude of 3.9 and at 5.51 am at a magnitude of 4.0.

As the earthquake stopped several people took to social media to mark themselves safe from the quake and ensure that loved ones and relatives were also all right.

Shaken TT citizens commented on the quake on several social media platforms.

One person from Cocorite posted on Newsday’s social pages. “Thank God it was not worse,” she said.

Another person in Claxton bay said: “My dogs woke me up just in time… it was strong.”

A third posted on Newsday’s page saying, “All because Australia lost to Afghanistan.”

“Only God keeps this nation safe,” said another person posting on the Seismic Research Centre’s page. “Thank God for the depth…. everything shook in my home.”

A St James resident posted on UWI’s page: “St James. It was very strong and it shook for a while. My TV nearly fell and the lights were blinking. Thank God no damage.

In August 2018 an earthquake which registered at a magnitude of 6.9 on the Richter Scale hit TT. That quake rocked TT for 90 seconds. According to the TT Weather Centre the 2018 earthquake was five times stronger and released 11 times more energy.