6:15 AM: Felt, Moderate Earthquake SE of Guadeloupe. Aftershocks Reportedly Felt.

At 6:15 AM on Thursday 25th June 2019, a preliminary Magnitude 5.0 (Md or mt) earthquake occurred 49 kilometers SE of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe and 91 kilometers NNE of Roseau, Dominica.

This event occurred at a shallow depth of 10.0 Kilometers. This information (above) is preliminary from the U.W.I. Seismic Research Center and is subject to change upon review by a seismologist at the Seismic Research Center.

This earthquake was widely reported felt with a short jolt across Guadeloupe and its surrounding islets, Dominica, Martinique, and Antigua.

OSVG-IPGP Preliminary information on this morning's moderate earthquake southeast of Guadeloupe. (Note, the quake occurred 58.84 Kilometers SE of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, not the distance indicated in the above image)
OSVG-IPGP Preliminary information on this morning’s moderate earthquake southeast of Guadeloupe. (Note, the quake occurred 58.84 Kilometers SE of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, not the distance indicated in the above image)

The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Guadeloupe, part of the Institute of Physics of Globe of Paris (OSVG-IPGP) monitors seismic and volcanological activity in the French Antilles in the Eastern Caribbean.

In their preliminary report, this earthquake registered at a magnitude 5.1 (M), at approximately the same location as the U.W.I. Seismic Research Center, but at a slightly deeper depth at 23 kilometers.

Shakemap from the OSVG-IPGP, showing weak to light shaking may have occurred across Antigua, Martinique, Dominica and Montserrat while moderate shaking may have occurred across parts of Guadeloupe and surrounding islets.
Shakemap from the OSVG-IPGP, showing weak to light shaking may have occurred across Antigua, Martinique, Dominica and Montserrat while moderate shaking may have occurred across parts of Guadeloupe and surrounding islets.
OSVG-IPGP Preliminary information on the first aftershock recorded at 6:18 AM on Thursday. Very light shaking occurred near Guadeloupe.
OSVG-IPGP Preliminary information on the first aftershock recorded at 6:18 AM on Thursday. Very light shaking occurred near Guadeloupe.

At 6:18 AM, a minor aftershock recorded at a preliminary magnitude 3.1 (M) occurred. This event occurred at a shallower depth of 12.0 kilometers, much closer to the island of Guadeloupe as the main earthquake.

This information (above) is preliminary from the OSVG and is subject to change upon review by a seismologist at the observatory.

Shakemap from the OSVG-IPGP, showing very weak shaking may have occurred across Eastern Guadeloupe and the nearby islets.
OSVG-IPGP Preliminary information on the first aftershock recorded at 6:20 AM on Thursday. Light shaking occurred near Guadeloupe.
OSVG-IPGP Preliminary information on the first aftershock recorded at 6:20 AM on Thursday. Light shaking occurred near Guadeloupe.

At 6:20 AM, another minor aftershock recorded at a preliminary magnitude 3.9 (M) occurred. This event occurred near epicenter of the main quake at a depth of 23.0 kilometers.

This information (above) is preliminary from the OSVG and is subject to change upon review by a seismologist at the observatory.

 Shakemap from the OSVG-IPGP, showing very weak to weak shaking may have occurred across Eastern Guadeloupe and the nearby islets.
Shakemap from the OSVG-IPGP, showing very weak to weak shaking may have occurred across Eastern Guadeloupe and the nearby islets.

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. You can submit felt reports to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, United States Geological Survey and The French Seismological Central Office.

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.

This area has some of the highest seismicity in the Eastern Caribbean. Within 20 kilometers of the epicenter of the main earthquake, since 1960, quakes have generally registered below magnitude 4.6. Only one quake to the southeast of the epicenter of this quake registered higher, at magnitude 7.4 (MW) on October 3rd, 1914. This quake was associated with the subducting South American plate, not the overriding Caribbean plate which today’s quake occurred.

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.

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