Earthquakes Can Happen

Members of Hazard Management Cayman Islands have been educating local school children on earthquake preparedness.

The awareness campaign marks the fifth anniversary of a 6.8 quake that hit 20 miles south of George Town 14 December, 2004.

Students are learning more about Cayman’s seismographs and other equipment used to detect and record earthquake activity in the Cayman Islands and regionally.

Deputy Director of Hazard Management Omar Afflick also demonstrated how students can protect themselves during earthquakes using the basic ‘duck, cover and hold’ technique.

‘Basically when you feel shaking, stay calm, move away from glass windows and duck under a heavy piece of furniture such as a desk or table. If there is nothing available for you to duck under you should cover your head with your arms.’ Said Mr. Afflick.

He says if you are outside when an earthquake hits move to an open area where you are safe from falling trees, light poles, or buildings.

Since 1990 there have been four earthquakes that were magnitude six or more in the general area of the Cayman Islands. A recent vulnerability analysis conducted by Natural Disasters Assessment Consulting Group for Grand Cayman shows that the estimated return period of a destructive earthquake ranging in magnitude from 7.2 to 7.5 on the Richter scale is 180 to 500 years, so while the possibility of a damaging earthquake occurring in Cayman in anyone year is small, there is still a risk and the public should prepare for the possibility.

For more on how you can protect yourself and family member’s safety tips and other helpful information is available at www. [email protected].