At 1:05 PM on Wednesday 24th June 2019, a preliminary Magnitude 3.1 (ML) earthquake occurred 22.3 kilometers NW of Castries, St. Lucia and 50.9 kilometers SSW of Fort-de-France, Martinique.
This event occurred at a shallow to an intermediate depth of 32.6 Kilometers. This information (above) is final from the United States Geological Survey. Note that information on this earthquake has not been published by the U.W.I. Seismic Research Centre, the authority for seismic and volcanological information in the Eastern Caribbean.
This earthquake was reported felt, with weak shaking, across parts of Northern St. Lucia.
Note that across the globe, different seismic monitoring agencies use different methods, or several methods, for processing earthquake parameters. Each method has its limitations and will likely produce different results within the ranges of the uncertainty of that data. This is generally accepted within the scientific community.
This event was not reported felt across Trinidad, Tobago or any other Caribbean Islands. You can submit felt reports to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre or the United States Geological Survey.
Based on the location and depth of this earthquake, it is tectonic in origin and occurred within the Caribbean Plate, above the subducting South American plate to the east.
Within 20 kilometers of the epicenter of the main earthquake, since 1960, quakes have generally registered below magnitude 4.6. This quake occurred on December 8th, 1966. The most recent quake in this location occurred on April 11th, 2019 at a magnitude 3.6.
Earthquakes *cannot* be predicted – meaning the precise time, date, magnitude, depth, etc. cannot be known ahead of time based on current research and technology.
Generally, across the Eastern Caribbean, a seismically active area, earthquakes of this magnitude, up to M8.0 and greater, are possible and this statement has been repeated by seismologists at the U.W.I. Seismic Research Centre for decades.
Each year, over 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 (M7.0-7.9) quake occurred north of Martinique in 2007.
Historical patterns indicate great earthquakes (M8.0+) on the Richter Scale have occurred every century or so in the region. The probability of another event at that level is high since the last >M8.0 earthquake occurred in 1843.
Now is the time to create or go over your earthquake preparedness plan and know what to do during, before and after an earthquake. See here for more details.