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Seismologists Record 38 Aftershocks

Discussion in 'latest News in Trinidad & Tobago' started by alexk, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. alexk

    alexk Guest

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    Another earthquake aftershock was felt yesterday in Trinidad - the 38th following Tuesday’s big 6.9 magnitude strike.

    And reports of damage from Tuesday’s “big one” have risen to 218, according to the Local Government Ministry.

    The latest tremor occurred at 6.44 am yesterday and registered at a magnitude of 4.0 with a depth of 70 kilometres, T&T’s Seismic Research Centre said. It occurred west of Trinidad - the epicentre of Tuesday’s earthquake - and registered as far as St Lucia and Barbados.

    The SRC had noted 37 aftershocks up to yesterday’s event, with the biggest one registering a 5.9/6 magnitude.

    Yesterday, SCR director Richard Robertson, who acknowledged public concern, called on the public not to panic.

    “Aftershocks will be with us for some time. You’re likely not to feel most of them. But aftershocks are the earth’s way of settling itself after a large fracture has occurred within, causing an earthquake,” Robertson said.

    “Once a fracture occurs in the earth’s main crust - as happened Tuesday - the surrounding crust has to adjust to the amount of energy released. Usually, this is followed by smaller aftershocks, which is the normal pattern. Sometimes an earthquake might be followed by an aftershock at some point, which might be bigger than the earthquake. But in our case, what we’ve seen of aftershocks is the normal pattern of smaller tremors.”

    He said earthquakes are caused purely by processes within the earth and not anything above ground or lunar activity.

    “When fractures occur within and the crust cannot move freely, it builds up pressure and this is released via earthquake,” he said.

    With continued after-shocks, the Local Government Ministry said reports of damage received from the 14 municipal corporations rose from over 30 on Wednesday to 218 of both major and minor structural damage to private homes.

    Assessments have been completed for 146 of the reports, Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein said.

    “The majority of reports are minor structural damage such as wall cracks. The corporations are making every effort to assist all affected families and their Disaster Management units continue assessment,” Hosein told the T&T Guardian.

    “We urge the public to continue working with all first responders to ensure safety and restoration in their communities. In the event of emergency, please call the 24-hour Disaster Management Hotline of your respective municipality.”

    Yesterday, private and public sector agencies also continued evaluating damage from Tuesday’s earthquake. The multi-storey Public Administration Ministry between St Vincent and Abercromby Streets will remain closed until next week, officials said. Legal Affairs, South Quay building was also closed

    Assessment and repairs are also being done on a number of private sector structures - from MovieTowne to T&T Yacht Club in Bayshore and Powerboats’ Chaguaramas facility.

    The TTYC manager said damage was sustained to the Club’s jetty and finger pier, which disconnected, as did diesel and gasoline fuel pumps. Powerboats’ restaurant area was also damaged.

    But other businesses and some ministries reopened yesterday after closing following Wednesday’s aftershock. Among those re-opening for business yesterday was the Education Ministry. Today, Minister Anthony Garcia will reveal post-earthquake reports from schools and early childhood centres. But officials said damage to such institutions wasn’t significant.

    However, Caroni East MP Tim Gopeesingh wants Garcia to say how many school buildings have sustained any infrastructural damage, the scale of such damage and timeframe of repair works to be undertaken.

    He also wants the ministry to inspect all school buildings, especially older ones, to determine the infrastructural integrity and fitness to safely house T&T’s approximately 250,000 students and 16,000 teachers when school reopen for the new academic year shortly.

    “I urge Mr Garcia to make it his priority to ensure all government and government-assisted primary schools (422), secondary schools (125) and early childhood centres are safe,” Gopeesingh added, noting schools are also used as relief centres and shelters for the population in natural disasters.

    Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodan also called on the Works Ministry to do a structural audit on overpasses at Endeavour, Charlieville and Chaguanas, particularly since the latter links north and south.
     
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