Caribbean News Briefs August 16, 2010


Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: A 5.0 magnitude quake shook parts of the nation over the weekend, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

According to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre, the tremor occurred north of Paria Peninsula near Trinidad at a depth of 118 kilometres, at 4:40 a.m. on Saturday.

The earthquake was felt in Trinidad, as well as Bon Accord and Signal Hill in Tobago.

“While scientists do not expect significant aftershocks to occur following this event, the public should be reminded that both islands of Trinidad and Tobago lie in an area of high earthquake activity for the Caribbean and a significant magnitude earthquake can, therefore, occur at any time,” a statement from the Seismic Research Centre said.

The statement also said it’s generally expected that earthquakes in the 5.1-5.5 magnitude range will occur in the area on average once every 10 years. The last earthquake of this size in the area was in 1993.


Port-au-Prince, Haiti: The first part of a team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS) has arrived in Haiti to begin their electoral observation mission.

The team, led by Ambassador Colin Granderson, has begun meetings with various members of the government, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), the political parties, civil society organizations, members of the international community and all stakeholders involved in the Haitian electoral process.

The joint OAS/CARICOM Mission observed the registration of candidates for the presidential election and will be present for the publication of the list of registered candidates.

The long-term mission of electoral observation will deploy its observers progressively throughout the country, beginning in September, to observe the unfolding of the various stages of the electoral calendar through the publication of the official results.

Granderson will present the report of the Mission to the OAS Permanent Council and the CARICOM Secretary General.

This is the first time that the OAS and CARICOM have partnered together to provide electoral observation assistance.


Nassau, Bahamas: The government says it will deport illegal Haitians found on the island after complaining of “a noticeable increase” in the number of people from the earthquake battered nation trying to “gain illegal entry into the country”.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that over the past six months, “and, in particular, during the last two weeks”, authorities have noticed an increase in the number of Haitian migrants attempting to gain entry illegally into the country.

“The Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas wishes to remind the general public of its long standing policy with respect to illegal entry into its territory from all countries including Haiti,” the statement said.

“Having regard to the recent heightened infringement of Bahamas Immigration Law, notice is hereby given that with immediate effect, all illegal immigrants are requested to leave the Bahamas voluntarily.

“All persons who are here illegally are in contravention of the laws of the Bahamas, and are advised to return to their country of origin or be subject to apprehension and deportation.

“Persons who are found to be in the Bahamas illegally will be repatriated forthwith,” the statement said.


Kingston, Jamaica: The Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) says it is giving the government more time to decide on a schedule for the payment of outstanding retroactive allowances.

The administration of Prime Minister Bruce Golding owes the nurses thousands of dollars each in outstanding payments which has led the nurses to mount protests it has dubbed a public education campaign.

In a statement released on Monday, NAJ President Edith Allwood-Anderson said the nurses have agreed to grant more time to the government, following a discussion she had with Health Minister Ruddy Spencer.

Allwood-Anderson said Spencer informed her that he will be pursuing further discussions with Finance Minister Audley Shaw.

She said the minister requested the time for both ministries to “sort out the nuances that exist regarding the payment schedule”.

Allwood-Anderson said Spencer has indicated he will also discuss the fixing of a date for the reclassification exercise with the finance minister.

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