Statement From Chief Secretary On Recent Earthquake That Hit Trinidad And Tobago

Today I am truly grateful to Almighty God for his protection over Tobago and also Trinidad, during the recent earthquake that we experienced (August 21).

In the aftermath of what could be considered one of our more violent earthquakes for a period of time, many of us may still be shakened and even traumatized from this sudden, unannounced act of nature.  Thus far we do not have any reports of loss of life and we certainly hope this account remains.  The Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has reported that barring the loss of electricity in several communities in Tobago (especially west) last evening, up to this morning (August 22), there have been no reports of major damages to buildings or property in the island.  TEMA will do a further detailed assessment later today.

As a people and a country we have much to be grateful for, considering that many cities and towns have been devastated by earthquakes of lesser than the 6.9 magnitude we recently experienced or close to it.  I must commend you the residents of Tobago, as there has been an overwhelming demonstration of care and concern for others – as we rushed to safety, helped someone to safety or simply checked in on loved ones to ensure they were safe and unharmed.

I beg you to strive at all times, to maintain that attitude of care and love that is hinged on the old principle, “Be your brother’s keeper” and not only in times of distress or disaster.   While I encourage us to demonstrate love for each other, let us not negate our responsibility to be prepared and responsible citizens.  I urge all of us to seek out the relevant information that will equip us to deal with natural disasters as much as we possibly can.  Please continue to remain calm and vigilant, as aftershocks are possible.  Also, do make every effort to ensure that your property is inspected and assessed, so that any damages can be discovered and repaired quickly.  I sincerely pray that Almighty God continues to cover and protect our land.

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