ST JOHN’S, Antigua & Barbuda: After a magnitude 4.0 earthquake was recorded off the coast of this country last Friday, the Seismic Research Unit in Trinidad & Tobago has reiterated a warning that the Caribbean should prepare for a more severe earthquake.
In confirming that an earthquake occurred 50 miles east of the Antigua & Barbuda capital around five a.m., seismologist Dr. Joan Latchman reportedly said that the region has not seen its largest earthquake for more than a century and, based on the historical data that indicated the region has recorded a major earthquake every 100 years, the islands of the English-speaking Caribbean were overdue for one.
Dr. Latchman has stated that the pattern in which earthquakes have occurred in the region has been consistent, although authorities cannot predict when and where it will happen.
This time last year, the Trinidadian seismologist also warned residents of the region to brace for a major earth movement.
Speaking during a three-day visit to St. Kitts & Nevis to make a presentation on disaster readiness, Latchman said Caribbean islands lie in an area of relatively high earthquake activity and that an earthquake of 8.0 could hit the Caribbean at any time based on the patterns previously recorded.
According to the Seismic Research Centre, there have been a number of small earthquake activities taking place off Antigua & Barbuda although they have not been felt by residents.
Philmore Mullin, head of the National Office of Disaster Services, said that Antigua & Barbuda would not only be vulnerable to earthquakes but also to tsunamis.
Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission of UNESCO told the region to prepare for tsunamis.