Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake


Today (Tuesday, January 28, 2020) a magnitude 5.3 earthquake occurred in the Gulf of Paria, between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago (10.2 kilometers northwest of Icacos and 13.5 kilometers west of Cedros). There is no tsunami threat.

Shortly after midnight, at 12:02 AM, a small, minor earthquake struck in the Gulf of Paria, just west of Cedros and northwest of Icacos. 12 minutes later, at 12:14 AM, another minor earthquake struck in a similar location. Both of these quakes, reported by FUNVISIS, were foreshocks, leading up to a (preliminary) Magnitude 5.3 earthquake 10 minutes after.

No damage was reported across the affected areas as of 2:00 AM.

This larger, moderate earthquake was reported felt across much of Western Trinidad with light shaking in Southwestern Trinidad and weak shaking in Northwestern Trinidad. You can submit felt reports to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre or the United States Geological Survey.

[. . .] At 12:24 AM Tuesday 28th January 2020, a preliminary Magnitude 5.3 (Md or Mt) earthquake occurred 10.2 kilometers northwest of Icacos, Trinidad, and 13.5 kilometers west of Cedros, Trinidad.

This event occurred at a shallow depth of 10 Kilometers. This information (above) is preliminary from the U.W.I. Seismic Research Centre, the authority for seismic and volcanological information in the Eastern Caribbean. Quake parameters such as location, depth, and magnitude may change upon review from a seismologist at the SRC.

There is no tsunami threat.

  • There are four conditions necessary for an earthquake to cause a tsunami:
  • The earthquake must occur beneath the ocean or cause material to slide in the ocean.
  • The earthquake must be strong, at least magnitude 6.5.
  • The earthquake must rupture the Earth’s surface and it must occur at shallow depth – less than 70 KM below the surface of the Earth.
  • The earthquake must cause vertical movement of the seafloor (up to several meters).

None of these conditions occurred. [. . .]

[Image above: Preliminary and reviewed earthquake solutions for the Tuesday 28th January 2020 quakes in the Gulf of Paria by the USGS, UWI SRC and FUNVISIS.]

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