Shortly after midday yesterday, parts of northwestern Trinidad were jolted by a light magnitude 4.0 earthquake. The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre recorded this quake at 67 kilometres depth, approximately 81 kilometres northwest of Port-of-Spain. The Centre also notes that this earthquake has been reviewed by an analyst.
This earthquake was widely reported felt from El Socorro to as far west as Chaguaramas.
Earthquakes in this area are typical for Trinidad and Tobago, with the last felt earthquake occurring just under two weeks ago, a magnitude 4.4 on August 12.
Generally, across the Eastern Caribbean, a seismically active area, earthquakes of this magnitude, up to M8.0 and greater, are possible. Seismologists have repeated this statement at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre for decades.
Each year, more than 2,200 seismic events are recorded in the Eastern Caribbean. On average, the Eastern Caribbean has seen a pattern of major (M7.0-M7.9) quakes every 20 to 30 years. That pattern has stayed true. The last major earthquake occurred north of Martinique in 2007.
Three years ago, on August 21 and 22, 2018, Trinidad and Tobago was struck by two large earthquakes registering magnitude 6.9 and 5.9, respectively, the largest quakes to strike near T&T in recent history.