Caribbean Quake Shakes the Dominican Republic

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake shook the Dominican Republic this morning just days after experts warned that the country is at risk of experiencing a quake similar to the one that hit neighboring Haiti last year. Luckily, there were no reports of major damage or injury.

The quake hit around 9:37am, about 77 miles east north east of La Romana, Dominican Republic, at a depth of 0.6 km (0.4 miles) and was measured at 5.3 magnitude by the Santo Domingo State University’s UASD Seismology Institute. The US Geological Survey initially put it at 5.0.

According to Caribbean 360, The Associated Press last week reported that Columbia University researchers had warned that the Dominican Republic could be hit by an earthquake similar to the 7.0 magnitude tremor that devastated Haiti in January 2010. The university’s Urban Design Lab director Richard Plunz, who led the investigation, and other researchers are to meet with President Leonel Fernandez at the end of next month in Santo Domingo to apprise him of their findings. 

Worries of earthquakes in the region and calls for the Caribbean and Latin America to get themselves earthquake-ready have been heightened since last Friday’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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