Earthquakes, tsunamis and Trinidad

St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago W.I.—May 5, 2006 – The Seismic Research Unit has received several enquiries regarding a supposedly impending earthquake and subsequent tsunami to affect Trinidad. Additional concerns as to the current status of the Kick ‘em Jenny submarine volcano – and the potential for tsunamis from the volcano – have also been raised. The status of knowledge on these issues at the time of preparing this release is as follows:

  • The Kick ‘em Jenny volcano is an underwater volcano 9km north of Grenada. The records of the Seismic Research Unit do not indicate any elevated activity at this volcano. The alert level for the volcano is at YELLOW, which is usual for this volcano. There are no signs of an impending eruption – or consequent tsunami from an eruption – in the near future.
  • Trinidad lies in an area of high seismic activity for the Caribbean and as such citizens should know what to do before, during and after an earthquake (www.uwiseismic.com). Scientists are currently unable to predict earthquakes and so we cannot say whether or not an earthquake with the potential to cause a tsunami will affect Trinidad in the near future. The last earthquake of note to affect Trinidad was of magnitude 4.1, which occurred on December 1st, 2005.
  • Following the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26th, 2004, the Seismic Research Unit, along with other relevant regional agencies, has been involved in a regional effort to establish a tsunami warning system. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) through its IOCARIBE-Sub-Commission is coordinating this effort. Additional information on these efforts can be found on the Internet at http://ioc3.unesco.org/cartws/.

For information on earthquake preparedness as well as these and other geologic events in the Eastern Caribbean, please visit our website at www.uwiseismic.com.
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