Detailed Earthquake Hazard Map for Port of Spain by June 2014

Caption: Talking about earthquakes- (L-R) Dr. Richard Robertson, Director of the UWI Seismic Research Centre; Senator Dr. the Honourable Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development; Dr. Walter Salazar, Earthquake Engineer/Project Supervisor; Dr. Joan Lutchman, Acting Director of the UWI SRC and Mr. Clint Ramcharan, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development. (Photo courtesy the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development)

December 20, 2013: By June 2014 Trinidad and Tobago will have a detailed earthquake hazard map of the city of Port of Spain and its environs. This was expressed by Dr. Walter Salazar, Earthquake Engineer and Project Coordinator of the Seismic Microzonation Studies project at a press conference hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development and the UWI Seismic Research Centre held at the Hugh Wooding Law School on Wednesday 18th December 2013.

This detailed earthquake hazard map will give an indication of how strongly the ground may shake at a specific site within the city or town due to the thickness of the sediments or layers within the ground.

This information will be useful for disaster managers, engineers, insurance companies and land-use planners as the map may be used as a preliminary screening tool in site selection for essential facilities and estimating impact on existing facilities such as schools and hospitals.

Minister of Planning, Dr. Bhoe Tewarie expressed that the project is very important as it will have a crucial impact on the sustainable development of the country. The Minister also indicated that the ten-year US$2.1 million-dollar investment by the Government is critical to ensuring that all measures are taken to reduce the risk of devastation to the current infrastructure of the country and to make certain that all necessary precautions are taken for future development.

Director UWI-Seismic Research Centre Dr. Robertson indicated that this detailed map will be the first of ten maps that will be produced to give comprehensive information of areas around the country where the impact of earthquakes will have the most effect on. 

This project which is funded by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development is the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean and is conducted using high-quality equipment from Japan.

Measurements are almost complete in the city of Port of Spain. San Fernando, Point Fortin, St. Joseph and Scarborough and other areas of the country will be covered over the ten (10) year timeframe of the project. 

Upon completion of the mapping of each urban centre, a workshop will be convened to train stakeholders in the use of the database to inform safer policies and practices for the future development of Trinidad and Tobago.



For any additional information please feel free to contact Mr. Sherron Manswell at 627-9700 ext. 1418, Mr. Kendal Fontenelle ext. 1406 or Ms. Stacey Edwards at 662-4659 or via email at




Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development
Minister of Planning
Bhoe Tewarie
Dr the Honourable Bhoendradatt Tewarie
Dr. Walter Salazar
Earthquake Engineer and Project Coordinator
Seismic Microzonation Studies
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