(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – Seismologist Dr Illias Papadopoulos says the city of Port of Spain is in grave danger of sinking below the ground in the event of a major earthquake.
Papadopoulos, who was speaking during a Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain meeting at the Normandie Hotel in St Ann’s yesterday, warned that a major earthquake is due to hit the region in the coming years.
He said while an earthquake cannot be predicted, the region expects an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or more approximately every 27 years and he said it has been long overdue.
He said two specific earthquake zones are posing a major threat.
The zones are located north of the Gulf of Paria and within the Gulf of Paria.
“This area is actually ready to give one of the biggest earthquakes that we expect here, which probably will be a magnitude of 7 or 7.5,” he stated.
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“These two zones are the ones that we consider most highly likely to give us the next big event in the years to come.”
Papadoupolos said the city of Port of Spain is at a greater risk of devastation because of water saturation.
“There is a lot of water in the land, especially on the coast…you can dig a metre down and you will find water.”
As a result, he said the land would “move like water” in the event of a major earthquake in a process called liquefaction.
“This is something of special concern, especially for Port of Spain. Port of Spain is in grave danger.”
Papadoupolos said buildings falling apart would not be as much an issue as buildings being swallowed up into the ground.
“You might not see the buildings cracking and collapsing but you will see the building sinking,” he said.
“It is not just Port of Spain, the whole country is in danger with regards to earthquakes and how they affect us,” he added.