Yes. In general, ground shaking is the more familiar hazard. However, along the fault trace, for very large earthquakes, rupture can extend to the surface of the Earth and the ground on either side of the fault can move apart and then close. Anything smaller than the opening in that immediate vicinity can be shaken into the opening and sealed in when the ground closes.

Yes, geothermal exploration does have the capacity to trigger earthquakes. Deep earthquakes occurring below geothermal exploration depths are unlikely to have been caused by geothermal exploration

This recommendation known as the “Triangle of Life” is a widely circulated suggestion which states that during an earthquake it is safer to curl up next to a desk or bed rather than to go under it. This practice is not recommended for the following reasons:

  • The “Triangle of Life” is not scientifically proven and tested.
  • It is unknown if during the earthquake these “triangles of life” – triangular spaces next to desks, beds etc.- are impacted in any way which may make them unsafe areas.
  • In the Eastern Caribbean, ‘pancaking’ or crumbling of buildings which would crush occupants as described in the “Triangle of Life”, is not expected.

Yes, if a building has been sufficiently weakened during the main earthquake it could collapse during an aftershock.

The most important thing to do during an earthquake is to stay calm. If inside, stay inside away from windows and mirrors. Do not run outside as you may be injured by falling objects. Protect your head and face and duck, cover and hold on to a strong desk or doorway. After the earthquake, check for structural damage or broken gas lines.

Visit the Earthquake Safety pages on this website or contact your local disaster management office for earthquake safety tips appropriate to your island.