Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019
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Earthquake tremors in Inagua 

Richard Ingraham, 47, a pastor in Matthew Town, Inagua, was preparing for bed shortly after 8 p.m. on Saturday when he noticed his bedroom shaking.

“I was just about to cut the light off when I saw this shaking,” Ingraham said.

“I saw the camera monitor [that] was on my bureau start shaking. It was raining all day and you hear this little thunder and thing. But after I’m in my room, I hear this strange sound. This strange sound just came out of nowhere. All of a sudden, I [felt] like the house started moving. It felt like my house actually had a spring underneath it.

“I thought ‘what’s going on? I must be going crazy.’ When I looked at my fan, my fan started going one side to the next.”

Authorities say what Ingraham and others in Inagua in the southern Bahamas were feeling were tremors from a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti, killing at least a dozen people and leaving around 200 injured.

Dulcia Pennerman, 40, a lab technician for Morton Salt, said she was most worried about the possibility of a tsunami hitting the island.

“Some people were saying they’ve already packed bags and packed their vehicles to leave their homes if anybody said anything,” she said.

“I mean people were actually at the shore looking out.”

She added that other residents had already began plotting a place to take refuge in case their worst fears became reality.

“I mean they told us, people who live in the community, are telling everybody to go to the highest peak in Inagua, which is some place called Salt Pond Hill,” Pennerman said.

She wasn’t the only resident worried about a tsunami hitting the island.

Flavioa Cox, 41, a father of a two-year-old girl, said he was worried about how he and his family would get to higher land.

“The sad thing about it is that Inagua is a flat land and being so flat, that’s the reason we can make salt, and to try run inland we don’t have a direct road to try run inland because all of our roads that lead to go inland, we have to ride the coast,” Cox said.

“We have to ride the seaside of the road. There is no escaping if there was a 20 feet or 30 feet wave coming and that’s the sad part about it and that’s the reality and everyone was shocked with knowing that we are one little settlement. You go to the left, there’s sea. You go to the right, there’s sea.”

Cox said he felt abandoned by the government during this traumatic time because he wasn’t receiving credible information.

“Information was either sketchy or information was not there,” he said.

“So I immediately called the met office and they said to me that they were aware of the activity that took place in Haiti and we were feeling a small portion of that. But they didn’t give us any answer about what we should do now.

“We did not know what to do. Information was not out there. Should we jump in the car? Should we use the seaside? So, we’re thinking all kind of thoughts going through our heads.”

Meteorologist Basil Dean said, “We had some reports from Inagua and the Turks and Caicos Islands that they felt some tremors.

“Just tremors we found. The magnitude was a 5.9 on the Richter Scale, but that would’ve been at the epicenter. But of course they were close enough to feel some effects from that earthquake.”

Jasper Ward

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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