British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020

'Earthquake swarm' leaves researchers puzzled and DDM on 'high alert'

'Earthquake swarm' leaves researchers puzzled and DDM on 'high alert'

By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is now on high alert, following the recent increase in earthquakes in the region.

This was revealed by the DDM’s Information & Education Manager Chrystall Kanyuck-Abel who told BVI News that her organisation is keeping a close eye on all earthquake-related activity.

“We are definitely on high alert right now; basically meaning we are monitoring the situation in Puerto Rico very closely, and our staff here is in daily contact with the staff at the Puerto Rico Seismic Network,” Kanyuck-Abel said.

“They are the ones that you would see put out the tsunami warnings, they’re the ones that have the sophisticated instrumentation to measure the magnitude of an earthquake,” she added.

Researchers puzzled, coins new seismic term

Kanyuck-Abel further said that the frequency of tremors within the last month has left seismic authorities baffled.

She said the tremors have even resulted in the creation of new terminologies to describe the recent chain of events.

“I won’t say that we are alarmed but we are tracking to the researchers and they are very puzzled about it as well. You may have seen in some of the information that went out, the word ‘swarming’ being used and that is a relatively new term that hasn’t been used to refer to seismic activity in previous years,” she explained.

“Now that’s definitely what we are experiencing. We are experiencing a seismic swarm, which has been a series (of earthquakes) which began in late December (2019),” Kanyuck-Abel further explained.

As recent as Wednesday, January 15, the DDM reported an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2 which was felt in the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands region.


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