Major Earthquake Long Overdue: Wake-Up Call for Jamaica’s Preparedness
Exclusive: After a magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck Jamaica, Karleen Black, a Scientific Officer from the Earthquake Unit of the University of the West Indies, warns, "We are prone to earthquakes no matter what"
Karleen Black Of the University of the West Indies
On Monday, Jamaica experienced a 5.6 magnitude earthquake, which led to people evacuating buildings due to strong tremors. Although it resulted in power outages in certain areas, fortunately, there were no reports of significant damage. Items such as food and bottles of wine fell from store shelves, and some minor structural damage was observed.
The epicenter of this earthquake was located in the Blue Mountain region of Portland, a known seismic hotspot in the area. Notably, this earthquake occurred at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers.
"Jamaica straddles the borders of two tectonic plates: the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate. This geological setting has made us more susceptible to earthquakes compared to even countries like Cuba or Haiti. We hadn't encountered an earthquake of this magnitude since the 1907 event," explained Karleen Black, a Scientific Officer from the Earthquake Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona, in an exclusive conversation with Kaboom Magazine. "Nowhere in Jamaica can you be completely safe from earthquakes, so we are prone to earthquakes no matter what. We shouldn't be surprised that we've had one and should expect more," she echoed.
The damage caused to a supermarket in Jamaica
With the possibility of an earthquake occurring at any given time, Jamaicans are encouraged to always be prepared, as a major earthquake is long overdue.