Shaky grounds: Jamaica records 14 minor earthquakes since year

Since the start of this year, 14 minor earthquakes have been felt across Jamaica. While no major damage has been reported, their frequent occurrence has caused many to become concerned.

But Dr.Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr, head of the Deparment of Geography and Geology at the University of the West Indies’ Faculty of Science and Technology, says these frequent minor earthquakes are actually a good thing.

“A lot of earthquakes is not necessarily a bad thing. You want them to happen along faulty areas and release pressure from tectonic plates. I would prefer if they would stay under 5 magnitude,” he told BUZZ.

He said these minor earthquakes are not necessarily a precursor to a bigger earthquake. “A lot of people might think that they are leading up to something, but that’s a volcano, not earthquake.”

BUZZ fam, we’ve curated the list of all the minor earthquakes that have occurred. How many have you felt?

Minor Earthquakes

January 2, at 2:27 p.m., a minor earthquake with a magnitude of 3.0 was felt in Kingston and St Andrew. Its epicentre was located 8km North of Penlyne Castle, St Thomas in the Blue Mountains.

On January 19, double trouble. An earthquake was felt in Kingston and St Andrew (Gordon Town and Manor Park, Chancery Hall, Beverly Hills) at around 9:00 a.m. It had a magnitude of 3.2. Almost two hours, another earthquake was felt in the same area. But this time it had a magnitude of 2.9, The epicentre of both earthquakes was located in Buff Bay, Portland.

Less than a week later, on January 24, another earthquake shook parts of the island. It had a magnitude of 3.7 and was felt in Mandeville and Spur Tree in Manchester at 9:19 a.m. Its epicentre was located offshore, approximately 30km south of Mandeville, Manchester.

A few days later on January 28, an earthquake with magnitude 7.7 USGS shook the entire island. Its epicentre was located approximately 110km NNW of Lucea, Hanover.

A day later, and people living in sections of St James and Hanover were once again shaken, after an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 was felt in almost 10:00 a.m. on January 29.

After a three-month break, the island started shaking again. This time by a 2.8 magnitude earthquake in Hart Hill, Portland on the morning of May 8. Its epicentre was located in Spring Garden, Portland.

A week later on May 14, a 3.1 magnitude earthquake rocked Kingston and St Andrew at 4:00 p.m. Its epicentre was located in the Blue Mountains approximately 8km Northeast of Hagley Gap, St Thomas.

On June 14, in the wee hours of the morning (2: 52 a.m.) A 3.7 magnitude earthquake was felt in St Catherine, Kingston, and St Andrew. Its epicentre was located in the Blue Mountains approximately 7km North of Penlyne Castle, St Thomas.

At 12:27 p.m. on that same day (June 14) a magnitude 3.1 earthquake was felt in Kingston and St Andrew with its epicentre located in the Blue Mountains approximately 7km Northwest of Penlyne Castle, St Thomas .

On June 26 at 8:29 a.m., a 3.5 magnitude earthquake was felt in Portmore, St Catherine. Its epicentre was located offshore, approximately 15km southeast of Hellshire, St Catherine.

On July 13 at 9:02 a.m., A 4.1 magnitude earthquake was felt in Kingston and St Andrew (Half Way Tree, Three Miles), St Elizabeth. Its epicentre was located approximately 10km northwest of Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth.

On July 17, at 4:21 PM, a 3.4 magnitude earthquake was felt in Mandeville, Manchester. Its epicentre was located approximately 10km west Mandeville, Manchester.

On August 3, at 6:08 a.m., a 3.5 magnitude earthquake rocked sections of Kingston and St Andrew. Its epicentre was located approximately 8km northwest of Penlyne Castle, St Andrew.