Minor earthquake rattles Cayman

Some Cayman residents felt a tremor early Tuesday morning as a result of a magnitude 4.6 earthquake that occurred 65 miles east of George Town.

The earthquake occurred at a depth of 6.2 miles at 1:53am.

Caymanian Compass reporter James Dimond was reading in bed at his apartment in Prospect when the earthquake happened.

‘I noticed the bedside lamp start to shake and at first I thought my girlfriend was moving around in bed and the bed was making the bedside table move,’ he said. ‘But then I saw the table was not touching the bed at all.

‘Then I realised it might have been an earthquake. I have never experienced one before.’

A non-commissioned seismic monitoring station in Frank Sound recorded the earthquake, said Lee Madison at Hazard Management Cayman Islands.

‘It’s basically built and operational, but it hasn’t been officially commissioned yet,’ he said.

Another seismic monitoring station in West Bay is about 90 per cent completed, and two more – one in Little Cayman and one in Cayman Brac – are planned, Mr. Madison said, adding that the one in Cayman Brac will be extremely sensitive. Because there is less vehicular traffic and other types of interference on Cayman Brac, a more sensitive device can be used.

‘It will be able to pick up earthquakes from farther afield,’ said Mr. Madison.

Earthquakes in the Cayman Islands are unusual but not rare. In December 2004, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake centred just 20 miles south of George Town rattled homes and businesses here, causing some damage. In February 2007, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake was felt here even though it occurred much closer to Jamaica than Grand Cayman.

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