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Published 11th December 2012, 10:49am

On Tuesday, December 11, at 10:30 am, a 4.1 Magnitude earthquake occurred with the epicentre located at 18.711°N, 81.306°W, or 39 miles South of George Town and at a depth of 6 miles, .

The earthquake was felt by many residents in George Town and also in the Bodden Town area. There were no reports of damage.

The Cayman Islands are located in a seismically active area and earthquakes can occur at any time and without warning. Residents should be prepared and know how to react when an earthquake occurs.

During an earthquake residents who are inside buildings are advised to react calmly and "Duck, Cover and Hold" preferably under a piece of sturdy furniture (to protect your head and body from objects falling from above). If the earthquake was a powerful event, evacuate the building after the shaking stops, to an open area away from trees, utility poles etc.

Just to the south of the Cayman is the Cayman Trough. An 870 mile long and 60 mile wide oceanic depression with a maximum depth of 25,217 feet, that extends from southeast Cuba in the east, to Honduras in the west.

The Cayman Trough is a tectonic plate boundary between the North American plate, which moves westward with respect to the Caribbean plate at a rate of 15-20 mm/y. As a result of this differential motion, large earthquakes sometimes take place along the plate boundary. In 2009 a magnitude 7.2 earthquake occurred along the western end of the trough and in December 2004, residents of the Cayman Islands felt a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred 20 miles south of Grand Cayman.

HMCI conducts Earthquake Awareness presentations upon request. Please contact for further information.