There is no reason to worry about the recent spate of earthquakes shaking the ground near the Virgin Islands, according to Harold Irizarry, a geologist at the Puerto Rico Seismic Center in Mayaguez.
“We had a seismic sequence,” he described Monday.
Irizarry said the seismic sequence began at 10:37 a.m. Sunday with a 4.1magnitude earthquake located at 19.7 degrees north latitude and 64.3 degrees west longitude. It happened 19.3 miles under the ocean floor at 80.8 miles north-northeast of Virgin Gorda.
A 4.2 magnitude earthquake located at 19.6 degrees north latitude and 64.4 degrees west longitude followed at 11:56 a.m. Sunday. It happened at a depth of 6 miles under the ocean floor and 75 miles north of Virgin Gorda.
A 4.3 magnitude quake hit at 12:39 a.m. Monday at 19.6 degrees north latitude and 64.5 degrees west longitude. It had a depth of 3.7 miles. This puts it 75 miles north-northwest of Virgin Gorda.
Aftershocks happened between the earthquakes, and are continuing Monday afternoon.
Irizarry said at 2 p.m. Monday there had been 31 earthquakes and aftershocks since the first earthquake Sunday. All were in an area called the Puerto Rico Trench.
He said seismic sequences are not unusual occurrences and this one was not unduly large. Irizarry said a sequence differs from a swarm in that in a swarm all the earthquakes and aftershocks are similar.
In the latest seismic sequence, the earthquakes ranged from 4.1 to 4.3 magnitude with most of the aftershocks under 4.0 magnitude.