According to the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Centre (SRC) in St Augustine, the earthquake occurred at about 5.42 pm yesterday and was located 11.04 North and 60.70 West with a depth of 29 kilometres (km).
The quake was recorded 16 km south-southeast of Scarborough, 78 km north east of Arima and 99 km north east of Port-of-Spain.
SRC Director, Dr Joan Latchman, said they had not received any reports of damage. Asked if citizens should be concerned, she said, “we expect earthquakes as part of our reality and even stronger than this one.” The last time this country experienced an earthquake of this magnitude was in 1997 with that one measuring 6.1, south of Tobago.
Latchman said the country has already begun to have aftershocks and using the 1997 example, she said there were hundreds of aftershocks following that one. Contacted yesterday, Works and Transport Minister, Rohan Sinanan texted Newsday, “no damage reported at this time.” Meanwhile, asked about any damage at energy facilities, Energy Minister Franklin Khan said there was none. “Most modern energy installation both onshore and off shore are built to acceptable seismic codes.” Following the earthquake, many people took to social media to share their experiences.
A woman on Facebook said, “I was sitting, just saw the TV shaking and shaking, my God it was so scary, I think that was the strongest I ever felt.” Another woman, Aarti Maharaj, who lives in England said she was on the phone with her mother when the earthquake occurred.
Her mother said it was strong and started saying her prayers. “She called out to dad asking him if he felt the tremors. Dad: What are you talking about? The man was rocking in the hammock oblivious to the earthquake! Just thought it was the hammock moving as per usual.
Mum thought she was hallucinating and obviously dad’s response did not help. I confirmed (from London) that there was an earthquake felt very strongly in South by checking Facebook,” she shared.
In Tobago, the quake was felt west of Crown Point, Shirvan, Buccoo, Plymouth, Scarborough, John Dial, Roxborough Speyside, Charlotteville and Castara to name a few. Contacted for comment, Director of TEMA (Tobago Emergency Management Authority) Allan Stewart reported that minor damage was reported.
“We have preliminary reports of minor damage to property, there is no report of injuries or deaths at this stage and we advise the public, those impacted to call 211 to pass any information of structural or any damage in their area. We ask persons to remain calm as there is a strong possibility that there may be minor tremors following so persons can expect aftershocks coming out of this event,” Stewart said. The minor structural damages which include hairline cracks according to Stewart were reported in the Signal Hill area. He noted that a number of groceries in the Scarborough area were also affected, as some of their items came crashing down.