5:17AM: Light Earthquake South of Trinidad

At 5:17AM Sunday 14th April 2019, a Magnitude 4.0 (MW) earthquake occurred 145.0 KM ESE of Tucapita, Venezuela and 173.7 KM SSE of San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. This event occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 24.6 Kilometers. This information was reviewed by the Venezuelan Foundation for Seismological Research

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 uncertainty of that data. This is generally accepted within the scientific community.

Related: Earthquake Magnitude & Intensity

This event was not reported felt. It occurred at the mouth of the Orinoco River. Earthquakes here are relatively uncommon, with only three quakes occurring within 50 kilometers of the epicenter of this quake since 1950. These earthquakes ranged from magnitudes 4.1 to 4.3. and depths between 20 to 80 kilometers.

Earthquakes *cannot* be predicted – meaning the precise time, date, magnitude, depth etc. cannot be known ahead of time based on current research and technology.

Related: Earthquake Prediction and Forecasting

Generally, in the Eastern Caribbean, a seismically active area, earthquakes of this magnitude, up to M8.0 and greater, are possible in area, 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.

Related: Earthquake Safety

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.

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