The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) is refuting claims
that a tsunami warning was issued on Monday, July 10, following the
passage of an earthquake that afternoon.
The tremor was felt at about 4:28 p.m., here in Antigua and Barbuda,
and in at least 10 other Caribbean islands, with locals describing it
as being long and heavy.
One agency measured the quake at 6.6 on the Richter Scale, while
others reported a magnitude of 6.4 and even of 5.1. Reportedly, it
occurred at a depth of 10 km and a location of 20 degrees north and
61 degrees west.
It appears that an international social-media blogger ran with the
information, advising followers that a dangerous situation had
developed in the Caribbean and that a tsunami warning had been
The man claimed that many of the detection systems had been going
off, following what he described as a mega earthquake.
Persons who saw the almost two-minute TikTok video said they
were unaware that the island had been placed on a tsunami
NODS Public Relations Officer Midcie Francis says that people
should be careful about the sources of information coming from
social media and investigate their validity.
Francis says that NODS is the agency that would disseminate such
information, and there was no need to do, since there was no
immediate threat of a tsunami.
NODS is aware that people’s lives might be at risk if information
does not reach them in a timely manner, Francis says. And since
residents’ safety is of the utmost importance, once the agency
receives such information it will be passed on to the public.
In the meantime, Francis says it is very important that residents not
be fooled by persons seeking attention via online platforms. Rather,
they should listen to trusted local, regional, or international news
agencies for accurate information.
Francis says the official alert system for NODS is the Common
Alerting Protocol (CAP). The App can be downloaded to residents’
smart phones for official notification about any pending disasters,
such as tsunami warnings, as well as hurricane watches.
She says that NODS has a very close relationship with members of
the local media; and, on a regular basis, information is shared with
these journalists for dissemination to the public.