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Expect an 8.0 magnitude earthquake, says Latchman


Eastern Caribbean countries have been warned to expect an 8.0 magnitude earthquake any day now.{{more}}

This warning came from Acting Director of the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies Dr. Joan Latchman, following the 5.1 magnititude earthquake in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday evening.

A scientific advisory from the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre states that the earthquake occurred at 9:01 local time near the north coast of Trinidad.

Its preliminary magnitude was 4.5 and its depth was 38km. It was felt through Trinidad. However, no damage or injuries were reported.

According to a CMC report, Latchman said that while the Caribbean has not had a severe earthquake for the last 100 years, she predicts that one with an 8.0 magnitude could hit the region any day.

She stated that the Caribbean has recorded earthquakes in the magnitude 7.1 to 7.5 in the eastern Caribbean every 20 to 30 years. Latchman said that the largest earthquake close to Trinidad occurred in 1756, more than 200 years ago, and the largest one in the Eastern Caribbean occurred in 1843, more that 100 years ago.

She added that Sunday evening’s earthquake was part of a series of earthquakes that began in September 2006 with a tremor of a magnitude of 5.8, the highest registered on land since the Seismic Centre has been monitoring earthquakes.

Latchman said that as a region we need to take the earthquake hazard seriously, and we need to be prepared.(OS)