Earthquake Effects Can Impact Barbados

admin Ministry News

An earthquake does not have to occur in Barbados for the island to feel the effects of activity associated with the shaking.

In fact, Director of the Seismic Research Centre in Trinidad, Dr. Joan Latchman, urged residents to be always on their guard as earthquakes in the region could negatively impact the island.

She was at the time speaking during a lecture at the Queen???s Park Steel Shed as part of the activities to mark Earthquake and Tsunami Smart Month, being celebrated under the theme: Come on Barbados: Let???s Team Up and Combat the Impact of Coastal Hazards.

Noting that Barbados was no stranger to earthquakes or their damaging effects, Dr. Latchman told those present that the island felt some of those effects in 1844, 1866, 1929, 1953, 2007, and again in 2014.

She further cautioned that the fact that an earthquake did not occur on the island did not mean it could not result in damage. Dr. Latchman explained that if an earthquake of a large enough magnitude occurred off Barbados, the island could still suffer some damage as a result.

The intensity of such an earthquake, she added, could also increase the potential for a tsunami to result. ???For a tsunami to be generated, you need a 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurring under the sea???,??? she explained.

That rupture would need to be strong enough to break the surface of the earth, causing a vertical movement of the fault and resulting in a wave being formed.?????That is why it is important to know the tsunami warning systems so you can take the appropriate action if they are warranted,??? Dr. Latchman said.

The expert cautioned persons against trying to surf tsunami waves, likening them to wet concrete in motion. ???You cannot stand up to a tsunami wave; you have to run from them and get out of the way,??? Dr. Latchman warned.

However, she stressed that the best way to prepare for an earthquake or tsunami was to have constant drills; know the early warning signs; know what to do before, during and after an event; and where the safe zones were located.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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