The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) will observe Earthquake Awareness Week on 7th - 12th January, 2019. The intention is to sensitize residents and visitors to ensure they can effectively respond to an earthquake event. In addition, the DDME aims to strengthen the Earthquake Preparedness and Response Capacity of the Disaster Management System, by building resilience to earthquake impacts at the National and Community Level.
Several activities (as detailed below) have been planned to commemorate the Week and the Department encourages all to participate.
|7th January, 2019||Communication Tests|
|12 January, 2019||Drop Cover Hold School Video Competition. (Winning Video to be upload to DDME Social Media Pages and Website.)|
|All Week||Earthquake Drills|
|All Week||Social Media Postings related to information on Earthquake Hazards.|
|All Week||Did you know - Daily Questions and Answers (via RTC)|
|13th Janaury,2019||Church Service – Methodist Church, Grand Turk at 11:00am|
Scientists have tried predicting earthquakes, however none have been successful. While they have a pretty good idea of where an earthquake is most likely to hit, they still cannot tell exactly when it will happen. Although not often felt, the Caribbean and Central America Region experiences dozens of measurable earthquakes every week. For the year 2018, the region has experienced approximately 4,139 earthquakes of magnitude M1.5 or greater. Memorable earthquake events in the region for the year include for example:
- 5.9 Earthquake on 6 October, 2018 - Occurred in the Mona Passage between Haiti and Cuba; resulting in 15 deaths and approximately 333 injured in Haiti. Residents in the TCI and Inagua reported feeling the tremors.
- 7.2 Earthquake on 21 August, 2018 - Earthquake struck Venezuela; felt as far North as Dominica, far west as Colombia, and far South as Guyana.
- 6.9 Earthquake on August 21, 2018 – Earthquake struck Trinidad and Tobago; several buildings and property sustained damage. Parts of Port-of-Spain without electricity.
- 4.9 Earthquake on November 10, 2018 – Earthquake struck Northeast of Antigua.
As we observe Earthquake Awareness Week 2019, it is important that we understand our level of vulnerability to earthquakes and recognize the need to prepare and maintain a state of readiness for such threats. Due to the geographical location of the Turks and Caicos, and its proximity to both the Puerto Rico Trench and the Septentrional Fault System, the islands have a low to moderate susceptibility to earthquakes risks.
While we cannot predict earthquakes or prevent them from occurring we can be prepared to respond. Individual, schools, businesses or community groups interested in earthquake tips and learning about what can be done to become more resilient to earthquakes can contact the Department via:
Telephone: 649 946 4177/4521 (Providenciales) or 649-946-2177 (Grand Turk)