Residents across the country were reportedly running out of buildings out of fear for their safety, on Tuesday, when a 4.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Antigua and Barbuda around 4:26 p.m.
Social media sites were also abuzz with comments from users who shared their experiences and their location at the time of the tremor. Those using WhatsApp and other media say they were either driving or in stores in the city of St. John’s when they felt the quake.
Information from the UWI Seismic Research
Centre in Trinidad indicated that the quake was located latitude 16.947 North and longitude 61.819 West at a depth of 21.43 kilometres. Reports also indicate that the quake was felt in countries such as Montserrat and St. Kitts.
Silvyn Farrell, human resource manager at Special Security Services, told OBSERVER media that he was on the second floor of a building on All Saints Road when he felt the tremor.
He explained that the entire building shook and within a few seconds everyone was running to safety.
According to Farrell, the managing director of the company decided to conduct an emergency drill which the company was planning to conduct in another week or so.
Meanwhile, the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) said the earthquake was strong enough to cause damage, to vulnerable structures.
The agency issued a press release on Tuesday inviting residents to report any visible damage by contacting 464-8456.
The disaster agency also reiterated the need for residents to be aware of the steps to be taken during an earthquake particularly, Drop, Cover and Hold On (DCH), which has been scientifically proven to reduce injury and death.
The agency said safe spots during an earthquake include: under supported archways, against inside walls, and under a heavy desk or sturdy table.
Residents are also advised to stay away from danger spots such as windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall unsecured furniture and stairs.