On the 9th January 2018, – according to the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.6 occurred north of Honduras. The epicenter was located at latitude 17.5 north, longitude 83.6 west or approximately 1447 miles West of Road Town, Tortola, BVI at a depth of 20 miles. A tsunami advisory was issued for the British Virgin Islands however, the TSUNAMI ADVISORY was cancelled.
A Tsunami Advisory means that that sea level is expected to repeatedly rise and fall by as much as 1 foot (0.3 meters) to 3.3 feet (1 meter) above and below the tide level in cycles that may take from five minutes to an hour. These sea level changes will be accompanied by dangerously strong and unusual near-shore ocean currents and minor flooding of harbors and beaches. This level of tsunami impact is a hazard to swimmers, surfers, divers, and others engaging in coastal ocean recreation or work activities. It is also a hazard to persons and boats in harbors.
If an earthquake poses only a potential marine tsunami threat to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, then a Tsunami Advisory will be issued. The Puerto Rico Seismic Network is the entity responsible for issuing such advisories for the British Virgin Islands.
in addition, the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) takes this time to remind the BVI community that we live in a seismically active zone, which makes the Territory vulnerable to earthquakes.
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.