Historic Caribbean Earthquake Was Felt in NYC

Repeating Islands


More than 150 years ago, a fault ringing theCaribbean shook half the Atlantic, including New York City, with a mega-earthquake. The quake rivaled those that have struck Indonesia in recent years, geologists reported last week at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, as Becky Oskin writes in this article for Our Amazing Planet.

The Caribbean’s beautiful tropical islands and coral reefs rise above a complex junction of four major tectonic plates. Many of the islands sit above a subduction zone, where two plates meet and one slides haltingly under the other, down into the Earth’s mantle. The Dec. 26, 2004, Sumatra, Indonesia, earthquake, a subduction zone earthquake that generated deadly tsunamis, has galvanized scientific interest in potential quake hazards from the Caribbean’s similar earthquake-producing faults.

The Feb. 8, 1843, Lesser Antilles earthquake was in many ways remarkably similar to the magnitude-8.7 earthquake that struckSumatra just one year later, in 2005, researchers reported…

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