Two Earthquakes Had Minor Effect on Antigua and Barbuda

Two Earthquakes Had Minor Effect on Antigua and Barbuda


Two minor earthquakes which occurred 4 days apart had minor effects on Antigua and Barbuda.

This was confirmed by the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre Automatically Computed Data.

According to the data, the first earthquake struck at 11:46 pm on Friday just northeast of Antigua with a magnitude of 3.9 and depth of 10km.

The second quake hit at 10:02 am local time on Tuesday at a slightly weaker magnitude of 3.8, but was deeper with a depth of depth of 25km. That quake was just south of Barbuda or north-east of Saint John’s, Antigua.

According to the Richter scale, quakes which are between the magnitudes of 2.5 to 5.4 although felt, usually only cause minor damage, if any. Quakes ranging from 5.5 to 6.6 usually cause slight damage, however those 6.1 to 6.9 can cause a substantial damage in very popular areas. Those 7.0 to 7.9 are major earthquakes expected to cause serious damage, while those 8.0 or greater can destroy communities which are located near the epicentre.

Meantime, Director of Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services Kiethley Meade says that Antigua and Barbuda should use the frequent number of tremors being recorded in the region as a reason to prepare for the possibility of a tsunami.

Meade, who was speaking on ZDK’s Open Forum on Tuesday, said that while residents should not be alarmed, the information should be used to the country’s advantage.

“If for instance we use this for our building codes, this is something we need to be aware of. We need to know these stuff can happen and ensure that whatever your design is it could to assist in any such eventualities…..these are things you use to your advantage, not to necessarily cause fear in anyone but to use the knowledge for our benefit,” Meade said.

He said for a place like our sister island Barbuda which is very flat, a shelter should be erected to rescue residents in the event of such a catastrophe.