UWI and USGS disagree on magnitude and location of Saturday’s quake, but agree it was near Antigua and Barbuda

There are two conflicting reports about the magnitude of an earthquake that was felt across Antigua and Barbuda on Saturday evening, October 23.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre measured the quake at 5.1 on the Richter Scale, while the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports that the tremor was of a 4.9 magnitude.

UWI says the quake occurred about 38 kilometers northwest of St. John’s, at a depth of 85 kilometers.  On the other hand,USGS says it happened 33 km southwest of Codrington, Barbuda, at a depth of 104.9 km.

According to the US-based agency, the earthquake affected neighbouring countries, including St. Kitts and Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, and Puerto Rico.

Other areas reportedly impacted were the U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean Netherlands, Saint Barthelemy, and Anguilla.   

Residents across Antigua and Barbuda took to social media to report having felt the quake; however, there have been no reports of any injuries or damage.

Persons recount feeling the tremor at about 6:47 p.m.  Some residents say it started out as a mild shaking, but later erupted into two hard shocks, which later faded into a soft trembling.

The quake lasted for less than 10 seconds, but several people tell REAL News it felt longer and like two separate tremors. 

Quite a number of residents, in various parts of Antigua, say they actually heard – not felt – the quake.  One woman in St. Peter says, from the sound, she thought a truck had slammed into a light pole.

However, residents in the northwest communities, such as Hodges Bay and Royals Estate, say the actual shaking was quite heavy.