Unusual geological event in MultiCountries

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
By Paul Martin

Tuesday, 15 November

Seven quakes have rocked Caribbean islands as of Saturday and another tremor occurred in Haiti this Monday, arising concern among experts about a likely seismic reactivation in the area. “For some days we have observed an unusual activity that seems to be linked to the subduction of the Caribbean tectonic plate,” Saint Lucian seismologist Bruce Kleever told Prensa Latina. Seven tremors were felt in the British overseas territories in East Caribbean over the weekend, according to the Disaster Management Department of the Virgin Islands. “The seisms were of 3.5-4.6 magnitude and could also be felt in Puerto Rico. WeaƖre following closely the situation in the area,” said Kleever. A 4.3-magnitude quake rocked southern Haiti early morning today, one year, ten months and two days after the worst seism in the history of this country occurred. No damages or fatalities have been reported so far, but the people panicked as they relived the nightmare. According to the expert, the tremor might indicate an area of seismic activity also in the northern Caribbean plate. For years, the specialists have feared the likelihood of powerful quakes and ensuing tsunamis in the Caribbean because of the existence in the area of important focuses of danger of tectonic movement. One of them is located near Dominica, considered the point with the largest number of potentially active volcanoes in the world. However, Kleever said panic must not be triggered among the population. “Just remain on alert and take steps in case of any tremor,” he said. Steps include going to open, safer spaces, mainly in highlands, far from buildings. The Caribbean currently lacks a tsunami early warning system. Such a device would be likely available by year 2014. Watch over the area is carried out from the Hawaii-based Tsunami Warning Center, in the Pacific. At least 88 tsunamis have occurred in the Caribbean in the past 500 years, the worst of them in 1946, killing some 1,600 people.

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