A 5.1 Earthquake Shakes Up Anguilla.
(Dive Travel Business News - July 5, 2012) -- Anguilla, W.I. -- A 5.1 magnitude earthquake just off Anguilla shook the island and other parts of the northern Leeward Islands late yesterday afternoon, creating a scare for some residents in the British territory, but there were no reports of damage or injuries in the region. The quake was felt in St. Maarten, St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua.
While there is no danger to travelers, it is important to note that this is the most recent in a string of earthquakes that have shaken up various parts of the Caribbean this year: Recent activity centers around the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, but activity extends to the Virgin Islands, and the northern Leeward Islands. Puerto Rico alone has registered 113 earthquakes in the past year according to EarthquakeTrack.com.
The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake’s preliminary magnitude as 5.1 and says the epicenter was about 6 miles (10 kilometers) east-southeast of Anguilla’s capital, The Valley. But it says the quake occurred far below the surface, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) down — a depth that tends to lessen the power of a tremor’s shaking.
The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWISEISMIC) earth scientists have repeatedly warned that the Eastern Caribbean is “overdue” for a significant earthquake that may likely be catastrophic, unless earthquake-resistant building practices are adopted and residents learn how to act when an earthquake strikes.
Dive travelers should ensure they have adequate insurance to cover "Acts of God" and "Natural Disasters" in the case they are scheduled to travel into or are in an affected area. Underwater earthquakes can create power tsunamis - an issue UNESCO is addressing with Caribbean nations right now.
Anguilla is a small, upscale Leeward island a few minutes ferry ride from Dutch island of St. Maarten. It has seven marine parks: Dog Island, Prickley Pear, Seal Island Reef System, Little Bay, Sandy Island, Shoal Bay Harbour Reef System and Stoney Bay Marine Park, which boasts a truly unique attraction, a 960-ton Spanish galleon, the El Bueno Consejo.
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