Grand Cayman was rattled by a magnitude 4.4 earthquake on Wednesday evening, which was reportedly felt by residents from the eastern districts to West Bay.

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred at a depth of 6.2 miles and was located 30 miles south of Bodden Town. It struck at 6:16pm.

No damage was reported.

Hazard Management Cayman Islands acknowledged the tremor. Its deputy director Simon Boxall told the Cayman Compass no tsunami alert had been received from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

He said there was “a considerable number of felt reports from residents”.
Wednesday’s seismic event was the first tremor in roughly two weeks.

It follows a total of 28 aftershocks which were felt in the days after a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck the region on 28 Jan.

Last month’s earthquake was the strongest recorded in the Caribbean in recent history and was felt not only in Cayman, but also in Cuba, Jamaica and south Florida.

On Wednesday evening, local residents took to social media to report that they had felt the tremor.

Posters on the Cayman Compass Facebook page reported feeling the tremor from Bodden Town to West Bay.

Hazard Management, following the 28 Jan. earthquake, said Cayman could experience aftershocks for up to two weeks or more.

Boxall provided a timeline of Hazard Management’s response following the earthquake.

He said at 6:20pm, Hazard Management was contacted by the Department of Public Safety Communications stating that numerous reports were coming in of a ‘felt’ earthquake.

Five minutes later, Hazard Management staff Mark Codling and Lennox Vernon accessed the feed from the local seismograph network “because initially there was no confirmation of the event by the United States Geological Survey”, Boxall said.

At 6:30pm, Hazard Management staff confirmed that a tremor had been recorded on the Cayman Islands network of seismographs.

He said at 6:36pm, Hazard Management issued a notification on social media stating that an earthquake had occurred and there was no alert from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and no threat to residents, additional information would follow about strength and location of the earthquake.

What to do during an earthquake

  • Stay calm
  • If you are inside, stay inside.
  • Take cover under a heavy desk, table, bench, in a reinforced doorway, or a corner.
  • Never use elevators to evacuate after an earthquake.
  • If you are outdoors, stay outdoors. Get to an open space and stay there until the shaking stops.

Practise ‘Duck, Cover and Hold’

  • Duck – get under a sturdy piece of furniture, making yourself into a little ball
  • Cover – keep your head and eyes protected from falling or flying objects. Cover your head with one hand.
  • Hold – with your other hand, hold onto the piece of furniture. Stay under shelter until you are sure the shaking has stopped.

 

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