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Small chance of local tsunami after earthquakes shake Eastern Caribbean

tsunBRIDGETOWN, Barbados--One of the six earthquakes that rattled parts of the Eastern Caribbean Thursday has triggered the “small possibility” of a local tsunami, but there is no major tsunami threat or tsunami warning in effect.

That’s according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC).

In a Tsunami Information Statement issued after the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that rocked several islands, including Barbados, St. Lucia, and Martinique, at 11:16am, the PTWC said “a destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data.”

“However, there is the small possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than 100 kilometres (km) from the earthquake epicentre,” it added.

The epicentre of that quake – the second for the day – was located 125km northeast of Bridgetown, Barbados; 234km east of Castries, St. Lucia, and 255km east-southeast of Fort-de-France, Martinique.

The PTWC issues Tsunami Information Statements to inform about the occurrence of a large earthquake with little or no tsunami-generating potential. A Tsunami Watch Statement is issued when there is potential for a destructive tsunami.

Prior to the 6.4 quake, a 5.7-magnitude tremor shook the islands at 7:01am the same distance from Barbados, 240km east of Castries and 262km east-southeast of Fort-de-France, and a smaller one occurred at 7:52am, according to the UWI Seismic Research Centre.

Three others were recorded at 11:29am, 11:36am and 12:23pm.

While preliminary information had put all the quakes at a depth of 10km – the depth assigned when data is too poor to compute a reliable depth for an earthquake – the Seismic Research Centre indicated that the actual depths ranged from 61km to 111km.

Although experiencing six earthquakes in one day was unusual for Barbados, the Seismic Research Centre stressed that the Eastern Caribbean is seismically active and would continue to experience earthquakes.

The quakes were also felt in St. Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. ~ Caribbean360 ~

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