Tremors hit Bermuda from 4.6 magnitude earthquake 50 miles off Island

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  • Heather Macdonald owner of Atelerie store on Dundonald Street, Hamilton, looks over the crack in her floor she believes was caused by the earthquake.

    Heather Macdonald owner of Atelerie store on Dundonald Street, Hamilton, looks over the crack in her floor she believes was caused by the earthquake.
    (Tamell Simons)

Police confirmed this afternoon that Bermuda felt the tremors of an earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale.

It happpened 50 miles west of the Island at 12.38pm. Police say there were no injuries.

However residents called to say they felt the ground and their offices shaking after the tremor spanning seconds was felt in various parts of the Island.

Callers to this newspaper said they felt a brief movement – the calls came from people in Hamilton and as far as Somerset, around 12.40pm.

One reader called in to say: "I'm in Warwick and felt it rumble. Was on the phone at the time with someone in town and he felt it too.

"I lived in San Francisco in 1989 for the Big One and it did feel awfully familiar…"

Another said: "A brief tremor lasting about 1 second, felt in the area near the rockaway ferry."

Paul Beilstein, who lives in Shelly Hall which was recently hit by a suspected tornado, said: "Yup, felt it here at Shelly Hall.

"The kids and I were having lunch. Have felt an earthquake before - also minor - and so recognized it.

"Sounded and felt like a really large truck going by. Had to take a moment to determine what was happening.

"Looked to the window to see if a truck went past on the lane and then noticed the water in the jug was gently sloshing back and forth - nothing else moving. Checked the time and it was about 12:40. Wow, tornados and now earthquakes! Eventful year."

Dr Tony Knap at BIOS said that according to the seismometer at the site, the earthquake reached a magnatude of 4.6.

The epicentre of the earthquake was 56 miles west northwest of the Island at a depth of around 10km.

"There are around 25,000 earthquakes recorded every year, and there have been around 307 last week," Dr Knap said.

"Most of them happen in the ocean simply because 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water, but we are a long way from a fault."

Government issued a statement this afternoon saying: "At 12.50pm. the Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) received a phone call from the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre, indicating that there was a 4.4 Magnitude Earthquake at 1538 UTC (12.38 local time), estimated to be 50 miles west of Bermuda.

"It was reiterated at the time that there was no tsunami danger, and the BWS quickly went about the business of alerting the relevant authorities to that fact, in addition to updating the website, the Bermuda Weather Channels on the cable providers, and the automated phone tapes.

"In addition, the BWS was directly in touch with members of the public who called in to make reports directly. It should be noted that there were no official tsunami information statements, alerts, watches or warnings issued as a result of this event; there would not routinely be any urgent messages forthcoming for such a small magnitude earthquake, regardless of how close to land it occurs."

Dr Mark Guishard, Director of the Bermuda Weather Service says: “During this event we were in touch directly with RCC Bermuda Radio, the Bermuda Police Service, the Emergency Measures Organization, and the Department of Airport Operations."

Here's some useful weblinks:


These are some of the comments posted on our Facebook pages and from emails to us:

Marcus Proctor emailed to say: "I was chillin with my boys at the Berkeley Institute when I started to feel the ground shake and the table shook also, and also heard rumblings."

Anneisha White said: "I felt and I was in my school's library at Berkeley for about 10 seconds…I was scared and confused."

Carl Durrant said: "We were sitting in the living room talking and we felt this rumble.under our feet it lasted about 10 secs. I thought it was a trackor coming through the neighborhood it was kinda strong vibration."

Philip Thorne emailed to say: "I am on Frith Estate in Warwick and felt the tremor move from the north side of the house foundation to the south side over a period of 10 to 15 seconds."

Sonja Turner emailed us to say: "I live on Old House Lane in Spanish Point and was having lunch at the time with my boyfriend and we heard a rumble and the floor shook under our feet and we had no idea what it was and just looked at each other asking 'What was that?'"

I felt my office vibrate for about 10 seconds and heard a rumbling noise. I sat there holding my breath and thinking is this a tremor or the equipment in my basement breaking down. Pretty scary but nothing comparing to Japan, New Zealand, Chile etc.

I heard this loud noise n the living room started shaking I was like that was a tremor

Definitely - sitting in Emergency and felt a weird shake... thought it was something to do with the building at first, but then friends in Pembroke said they felt it too.

Yes, I felt it on Middle Road, Devonshire!

Yes.... I went running outside in my pJ's...LOL.... Looking for the air plane... in Hamilton a number of us felt it.

Heard a rumble and the building shook. My students were mostly confused as to what was happening.

Hamilton and Warwick confirmed reports.

By Tee Street on the ocean - there was a rumble

Yes I felt it! I thought it was a truck passing my job and it was the vibration from it!!!

U sure people in ppaget felt it. I was in somerset and felt it. Crazy

felt ground shake for about 30-40 sec -real strong for about 10 seconds

at home in Khyber Heights, loud rumble and front room literally shook, not a nice feeling!!

Did you feel the earth move? Email

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Published Apr 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm (Updated Apr 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm)

Tremors hit Bermuda from 4.6 magnitude earthquake 50 miles off Island

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