10.43° N, 61.25° W
4768.00 sq km
Eastern Caribbean (UTC-4)
1,267,145 (2011 est.)
Full Country Name
The Republic of Trinidad And Tobago
The most southerly island of the Lesser Antilles. Trinidad has an average length of 80 km and an average width of 59 km. The island appears rectangular in shape with three projecting peninsular corners. It is traversed by three distinct mountain ranges (Northern, Central & Southern) and the highest peak, El Cerro del Aripo (940 m) is located in the Northern Range. Tobago is 30 km northeast of Trinidad and is 41 km in length and 12 km at its greatest width. Trinidad has a maritime tropical climate influenced by the northeast trade winds. Temperatures range between 20°C- 34°C and there are two seasons: Dry (January-May) and Wet (June-December). Trinidad lies outside the hurricane belt but has been affected by tropical storms in the past.
Approximately 1.26 million people reside in Trinidad. People are referred to as ‘Trinidadians’ or ‘Trinis’ (colloquial). English is the country’s official language. The island is one of the most ethnically diverse in the Lesser Antilles archipelago and this leads to a diverse mix of culture, food and traditions. Currency used: Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TTD).
In the event of an earthquake or tsunami the Office of Disaster Preparedness & Management is the official authority in Trinidad & Tobago.
Office of Disaster Preparedness & Management
4A Orange Grove Road
Tacarigua, Trinidad & Tobago
The Trinidad and Tobago area, as shown in the epicentral plot, is one of the more seismically active zones in the Eastern Caribbean, with an annual average output of about 260 earthquakes of magnitude greater than 2.0. However, the activity rate is not uniform across the area. The areas north and east of Trinidad have annual average output rates of about 45 and 25 events respectively. The area on land Trinidad exhibits the lowest rate with less than 20 events. The rate in the Tobago area has picked up since 1990 and whereas in the past the rate was on par with that seen on land Trinidad, it is now closer to that seen north of Trinidad. The most active areas are north of the Paria Peninsula and the Gulf of Paria with annual, average rates of about 100 and 60 events respectively. The epicentral map of earthquakes, since 2000, shows events of magnitude greater than 3.5; the other plots show the daily and cumulative numbers of all events located for the period and annual magnitude distribution in the area for events of magnitude greater than 3.5. Differences in the depths of the events in the various zones are evident in the epicentral plot. Following are details of the significant magnitude events observed in the zones making up the area:
- North of Trinidad – The largest known occurred on 1954/12/04 Mb=6.5 11.0°N 61.1°W. There was significant damage in northern Trinidad and one person died.
- East of Trinidad – The largest known occurred on 1988/03/10 Mt=6.3 10.3°N 60.6°W. There was minor damage owing to the distance off shore and the depth of the event.
- North of Paria Peninsula – The largest known occurred on 1766/10/21 with an estimated magnitude of 7.9. The then capital city of Trinidad, San José, was destroyed. The highest intensity from that event in Trinidad was MMI IX.
- Gulf of Paria – The largest known magnitude in this zone is about 7.0. In Port of Spain, there were isolated pockets of significant damage from this event.
- On land Trinidad – The largest known occurred on 2006/09/29 Mt=5.8. There was some minor damage in the epicentral area, and as far away as Buenos Ayres and San Juan.
- South of Trinidad – There has been no known significant event immediately south of Trinidad. There have been small scale swarms during the instrumental period. However, in the Amacuro Delta, there have been events in the magnitude 5 range.
- West of Tobago – The largest in the instrumental period occurred on 1997/04/02 Mt=5.6 and 2016/12/06 Mt=6.1. There was some damage in south-west Tobago for the 1997 event.
- South of Tobago – The largest known occurred on 1997/04/22 Mt=6.1. There was significant damage in south-west Tobago, with flooding in some areas from large-scale groundwater discharge.