Friday, March 11, 2011

Can Trinidad & Tobago Withstand An Earthquake Like Japan's?

WAKE UP TRINBAGO

You're due for another major earthquake and we are not prepared for it.

There is not much preparation you can make for an earthquake , it's not like a hurricane with hours of time to alert everyone. 

It is an instant,  unpredictable disaster with immediate consequences during and after it hits.  The scope of destruction depends on its intensity and duration.  Tsumanis are very predictable and with certainty could de large enough to devastate an entire island if not a very significant portion. 

Here is a youtube video of the aftermath of a tsunami caused by an earthquake.


 Typically major earthquakes in the Caribbean measure in the range of 6.0 to 7.0 on the Richter scale.  Here is what happens.

Pressure builds up in the earths’ crust along a fault line.  After many decades of pressure, like a rubber band stretched to it’s limit, something gives, the result is a shift in the earth’s topography; an earthquake.  The only way that scientists have found useful is the time in-between earth quakes.   Here is a history of all recorded earthquakes 

There have also a theory that animals can sense when an earthquake will hit.  One local article with quote by our local earthquake expert provides great insight into this idea.  Read it here.   



Although there have been a number of minor earthquakes in recent times, they have not caused much damage.  The signs have been there, but we are not prepared.  Most notable, unlike Japan, there is no regulatory agency to over see construction of home and large buildings.  Here is how prepared the Caribbean is right now

Remember when we talk about an earthquake hitting Trinidad and Tobago, that includes anywhere in the Caribbean with sufficient magnitude. Thank God we were not hit with a tsunami when the earthquake destroyed Haiti.

The last time we in Trinidad and Tobago felt the earth shake uncontrollably was…

 On October 21, 1766 at 10:65 Saint Joseph, Trinidad and Tobago was destroyed by a 7.9 earthquake.  The city has been rebuilt but was one of the reasons why the government at the time to relocate the capital to Port of Spain.  The other reason was that Port of Spain was accessible by sea.

To answer the question whish is the subject of this post is a flat out NO. 
We are not ready.  We need to get ready before it’s too late.  

We will never be able to predict when it will happen.  Our building suck and many people will be crushed by them but at least we know the urgency of evacuating any large building or at least how to react when an earthquake hits.  

We can predict how we are going to react.  Instead of looking at hanging people we could lobby for legislation that addresses this issue in a holistic manner.   That is just in case an earthquake wakes us up, which according to the people that know, is a certainty.   

This is a quake up call Trinidad and Tobago.  Heed it. 

Stay Blessed.


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