A picture of Road Town captured during the week of January 24, 2011.
Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
Many residents across the Virgin Islands were startled when an earthquake shook buildings shortly before 2:00 pm today, August 2.
According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the preliminary information, according to the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, indicates that an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 4.2Mb on the Richter scale was felt throughout the Virgin Islands at approximately 1:42 pm this afternoon.
The report indicated that the epicenter was located near 18.5N and 64.5 West or 10 miles NW of the Valley, Virgin Gorda; or 8 miles NNE of East End, Long Look at a depth of 23.6 miles.
According to DDM, upon speaking with the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, preliminary reports have not revealed any damage pertaining to the earthquake or the need for a tsunami bulletin.
The DDM is reminding the BVI community that "we live in a seismically active zone", which makes the Territory vulnerable to earthquakes.
DDM advises that during an earthquake, it is important to stay calm, if you are inside stay there, move away from ceiling fans, glass windows and doors, or anything that may fall.
"Get under a desk or sturdy piece of furniture cover your head and hold on. If outdoors, move into an open area away from trees, building, or utility wires and poles. During an earthquake, the more you move the more likely you are to be hurt, so refrain from entering or exiting a building at the time of the impact. This information is preliminary and adjustments will be made to ascertain a final reading," DDM advised.
Persons who felt the earthquake can assist the DDM and the Puerto Rico Seismic Network in determining its intensity by logging on to http://www.prsn.uprm.edu/English/php/CatalogS/Mseismicity.php and completing a simple electronic form.
Persons can also contact the DDM at 468-4200 to report any damage sustained by an earthquake's impact.