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Grenadians react to ‘traumatizing earthquake experience’

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Linda Straker  Dec 03, 2007

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) - The National Disaster Management Office is yet to report any damages but residents who experienced Thursdays earthquake are describing it as a frighten experience that have left them shaken.

Vanessa Ettienne, who at the time at the quake was on a trip to recently opened Esplanade Mall which was packed with visitors from the cruise ship MS Liricia which was spending the day in Grenada, said, “My entire body was shaking but I would not make a footstep, I don’t want to experience that again.”

The cruise ship had more bought more than 2000 visitors to Grenada to spend the day and a visitor who patronizing a craft vendor said, “I felt it twice, the first time was a small shake but the second time it was a major shake, and I ran outside mall, I was a very frightening experience.”

Students and teachers of St. John’s Christian Secondary School said they ran outside of the building as quake began moving chairs and tables. “We were in the Computer room and notice that the computers on the desk were moving, somebody shouted earthquake! The teacher said run and we ran to the playing field,” said Arielle Straker. “The building was swaying and I thought it was going to collapse; I felt dizzy and my head started to hurt instantly and I saw some children crying.”

Most of the workers at a three storey building on the south of the island which house South City Plaza and Best Western abandoned the shops and ran outside. “I was speaking to the human resource manager on the phone, I felt the shaking, then the phone went dead, I saw workers running outside, I just followed,” said receptionist Kemisha Lalsee.

Following the quake there were a disruption in the telephone services, which return to normal about half an hour later.

The United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center said that the earthquake occurred about 40 km (25 miles) NNW of Fort-De-France, Martinique at 3:00 PM.

According to reports, the quake was felt throughout the eastern Caribbean and in parts of northern South America. The earthquake occurred in the inclined seismic zone that dips to the west beneath the Lesser Antilles islands arc. In the region of Martinique, the South America plate moves to the west-northwest with respect to the Caribbean plate with a velocity of about 2 cm/yr. This relative motion is accommodated largely by the South America plate thrusting beneath the Caribbean plate.

Further, the earthquake occurred within the subducted South America plate, in response to stresses generated by plate's slow distortion, rather on the thrust fault that constitutes the interface between the Caribbean and South America plates.

The Center also said that an earthquake, such as this one, have focal-depths between 70 and 300 km are commonly termed "intermediate-depth" earthquakes. Intermediate-depth earthquakes typically cause less damage on the ground surface above their foci than is the case with similar magnitude shallow-focus earthquakes, but large intermediate-depth earthquakes may be damaging nonetheless and may be felt at great distance from their epicenters

Grenadians react to ‘traumatizing earthquake experience’

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