My Dissertation Research Diary: Caribbean rocked by succession of minor earthquakes

 A magnitude 4.0 earthquake event was recorded  at Latitude: 12.78 North and Longitude: 60.39 West. ( 2018)

Magnitude 4.0 earthquake  

Here is the latest information from the Trinidad-based, Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies regarding the succession of minor earthquakes affecting the Caribbean region.

According to the SRC, at 03:05 am (Local Time) 07:05 (UTC) 2018-12-12, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake event was recorded, at a depth of 10 km, at Latitude: 12.78 North and Longitude: 60.39 West or 94 km (58.4 miles) Southwest of Bridgetown, Barbados or 102 km (63.4 miles ) Southeast of Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines or 153 km (95 miles) Southeast of Castries, Saint Lucia ( 2018).

This follows an announcement that at  9:17 pm (Local Time) or 01:17 (UTC) a magnitude 3.7 earthquake had  occurred at a depth of 5 km 11 km (6. 8 miles) Northeast of Roseau, Dominica,  89 km  (55.3 miles) North-northwest of Fort-de-France, Martinique and 100 km (62.1 miles) South-Southeast of Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

The  government of Dominica will today  debate legislation to formalize the establishment of its Climate Resilience Execution Agency of Dominica (CREAD). The agency’s aim is to address the recovery of the island from severe climatic events. However, these latest occurences of minor earthquakes is a cause for alarm, and a sober reminder that the disaster-prone region is also prone to geologic, hydrologic hazards. As well as possible marine and man-made disasters.

Red circle marks the center of the quake

Earthquake magnitude: 3.7 Location: Latitude: 15.37N
Longitude: 61.32W Depth: 5 km (Seismic Research Centre)

Social media accounts from Dominica confirmed that shakings were felt in the capital and elsewhere.

Incidentally, last week,  CEDEMA and the ITU held an Emergency ICT forum where multi-stakeholders representing top level telecommunications providers, regulators, Information technology companies, metrological bodies and government officials from around the region including Guyana were present to discuss the state of preparedness of each other’s’ territories and learn of the work of the ITU. One of the objectives  of the 3-day  event was to produce the ‘Parish Hall declaration.’

 54 earthquakes in 21 hours 

“a big one is coming and it is better to be prepared,” 

– Dr. Joan Lutchman

Meanwhile, ” a burst of 54 earthquakes” occurred north of St. Kitts during a 21-hour period last weekend. The quakes ranged from  magnitude 1.2 to 4.1, and occured between 4:28 p.m. (local time) on Friday to 9:50 a.m. (local time) on Saturday, according to (SRC) (Barbados Today 2018). Reports of the earthquakes according to SRC came from several Caribbean islands including  Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Saint Barthélemy,  Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and Puerto Rico.

The head seismologist of the SRC, Dr. Joan Lutchman has since issued a warning to Caribbean governments, “a big one is coming and it is better to be prepared,” she said.( 2018).

caribbean plates


“The Caribbean region has a plethora of convergent plate boundaries, some of which have resulted in a significant presence of accretionary wedges.” (Caribbean Tectonics. 2018)

The seismology website, Caribbean Tectonics,  says that “due to the Caribbean’s
extensive and interesting tectonic environment, the Caribbean region is rife with natural hazards. From earthquakes and tsunamis to volcanoes and landslides, the potential for disaster in this region is remarkable,” adding, ” Seismicity in the Caribbean region is focused along the Antilles Arc, where the Caribbean plate overrides the North American plate (Shedlocke, 1999).  In this region, shallow intraplate earthquakes dominate at plate boundaries (Shedlocke, 1999). (Caribbean Tectonics 2018).

 Richter Scale

 How is the Richter Scale calculated

The Richter scale is a base-10 logarithmic scale,
meaning that each order of magnitude is 10 times more
intensive than the last one. ( 2018)


Barbados Today. (2018). TRINIDAD – Burst of earthquakes felt in Leeward Islands – Barbados Today. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018].

Caribbean Tectonics. (2018). Features. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018]. (2018). Caribbean urged to be prepared for ‘big’ earthquake | Caribbean News Service. [online] Available at:–2egzElwasNyrc9OWOtiRjxoAUTv3H4yJotZVpEn4D8zzC2y88iE [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018]. (2018). Redirecting…. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018].

Jamaica Observer. (2018). Region urged to prepare for ‘big’ quake. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018].

Shedlocke, K. M. (1999). Seismic hazard map of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Annali di Geofisica42(6), 977-997 (2018). Richter Scale & Magnitude. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018].


  1. Thank you my love Ras Albert ( Hon Natty Dread) for keeping Us updated on this latest 3.7 seismic earthquake development that occurred in Dominica along with All the Other Minor earthquakes that have recently occurred in the neatby surrounding Caribbean Areas. We know can not be taken lightly but could have very serious occurrences that call for immediate preparedness Now All your posts tell the relevant truths especially the Caribbean Slates and how the Series of earthquakes and other Hurricane , etc Climate Changes are making it difficult to maintain the 1.5 degree barrier standard as well as mere forward Existence. Just my thoughts … wifey Tempie Williams


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