NDMD issues statement regarding occurrence of earthquakes near Puerto Rico

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (January 07, 2020) —  The following is a statement from the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) dated January 07, 2020, regarding the heightened levels of Seismic activity of earthquakes near the south western coast of Puerto Rico.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) are actively monitoring the heightened levels of Seismic activity near the south western Coast of Puerto Rico that commenced in early December 2019, and has continued into 2020. Earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 have been recorded with some reports of damages.

The occurrences of the earthquakes and other natural hazards are beyond our control. Therefore, it is the duty of every citizen to be prepared to respond to any adverse effects that may arise from the seismic activities. It is important for everyone to know what to do before, during and after each hazard to reduce risks and prevent losses.

Dr. Joan Latchman, [University of the West Indies] UWI Seismic Research Center Seismologist has confirmed that “the pattern of seismic activity in the Leeward supports the prognosis that a more significant magnitude earthquake than those that we have in our database cannot be ruled out. A major earthquake is always possible and, therefore, hazard awareness should be sustained.”

NEMA and NDMD have recognized the important role of sound public education programmes in creating prepared communities. Effective action during an emergency can only be achieved if the public is made fully aware in advance of the nature of the hazard, the consequent risks and what can be done to reduce these risks.

Standard Operating Procedures are being utilized by the appropriate authorities to address all hazard occurrences. The general public is asked to remain vigilant and maintain situational awareness during normal activities.

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