A team of engineers from Puerto Rico is currently installing seismic equipment across the territory and is expected to complete the first phase of installation this week.
Director of the Puerto Rico Strong Motion Programme Dr Jose Martinez-Cruzado said this equipment will produce seismic data that is expected to help to improve how the BVI designs and constructs buildings, in order to minimize the impacts of earthquakes.
“The strong motion instrumentation will help to accurately define the earthquake risks for this part of the region but more importantly it will help to determine how the ground, as well as the civil infrastructure, respond to seismic activity when it occurs,” Dr Martinez-Cruzado explained.
He and his team have spent the week installing equipment on Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke. The team — which is specifically from the University of Puerto Rico — also hopes to visit the seismic station on Anegada during their trip.
Seismic equipment was previously installed in the territory but was damaged or destroyed, mostly during the September 2017 hurricanes.
This new installation process is, therefore, part of a move to restore all the territory’s emergency communications, hazard-monitoring, and early-warning networks.
Having seismic equipment installed is of great importance considering that the level of seismic activity in this part of the region is common. That is according to Jasen Penn the Emergency Communications Manager at the Department of Disaster Management who is acting as local support for the Puerto Rican experts.
A media release for the Government Information Service has said government has already committed nearly $500,000 towards the re-establishment of the emergency communications, hazard monitoring and early warning equipment while further financial support is being provided through the Caribbean Development Bank.
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