Powerful earthquake hit Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago -Port of Spain in danger of sinking
A massive earthquake rocked Venezuela and the southern Caribbean on Tuesday evening, knocking out power throughout the region and sending people rushing out of buildings.
Buildings in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas were evacuated Tuesday after a powerful earthquake was recorded off the northeast coast of the country, sending shock waves as far west as Bogotá, Colombia, and as far east as Trinidad and Tobago.
The U.S. Geological Survey said a 7.3-magnitude quake struck 12 miles northwest of Yaguaraparo, Venezuela. The U.S.G.S. recorded its depth to be 76 miles.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said at 6 p.m. there was no threat of a tsunami as a result of the earthquake, after a preliminary report that “hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km of the earthquake epicenter.”
It was a little surreal; the country just seemed to shut down for a second.Kevin Farrick, Trinidad and Tobago
There are no reports of fatalities in either country so far. But in Venezuela, The Associated Press indicates there may be injuries from an escalator collapse in Cumana, the closest city to the epicenter. In a public address, Nestor Reverol, the country’s interior minister, asked for patience and insisted that national disaster teams have been dispatched for relief.
THE CONTINUOUS RISK
The Trinidad Daily Express states: Seismologist Dr Illias Papadopoulos says the city of Port of Spain is in grave danger of sinking below the ground in the event of a major earthquake.
Papadopoulos, who was speaking during a Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain meeting at the Normandie Hotel in St Ann’s Tuesday morning, warned that a major earthquake is due to hit the region in the coming years.
He said while an earthquake cannot be predicted, the region expects an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or more approximately every 27 years and he said it has been long overdue.
Papadoupolos, an engineering seismologist at The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (SRC), said there has been “vivid” earthquake activity in the region in recent years with an average of 2,200 small earthquakes being recorded each year. He said two specific earthquake zones are posing a major threat.
The zones are located north of the Gulf of Paria and within the Gulf of Paria.
“This area is actually ready to give one of the biggest earthquakes that we expect here, which probably will be a magnitude of 7 or 7.5,” he stated.
Papadoupolos said buildings falling apart would not be as much an issue as buildings being swallowed up into the ground.