Katoonarib residents worried as “rumbling sounds” persist days after earthquake

One of the houses destroyed by the earthquake in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Essequibo)
One of the houses destroyed by the earthquake in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Essequibo)

Residents of Katoonarib Village in the South Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Essequibo) are worried as they continue to hear “rumbling sounds” some four days after they were hit by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake on Sunday.

In a statement released by the South Rupununi District Council (SRDC), it was explained that “residents living around the area have not been able to sleep well at nights since the tremor last Sunday. Reports have also been made about cracks on the ground which are slowly widening.”

Based on assessments conducted to determine the extent of the damages from the earthquake, it was concluded that Region Nine – which shares a border with Brazil – was the hardest hit location in Guyana.

The assessments had revealed that two houses were damaged and a few earth surfaces cracked open in the South Rupununi.

The Regional Administration has since committed to helping the families rebuild their houses.

The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) had also announced that will be launching an assessment to determine the probability that an earthquake occurring in Guyana.

In a statement released to the media earlier this week, the CDC said it will be partnering with the Ministry of Natural Resources to conduct further analysis, observation, and assessments to gain a comprehensive perspective of the region’s susceptibility to seismic hazard.

The Commission also said it was also in discussion with The Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency to provide technical support if the need arises.

According to the CDC, the result of these assessments could determine future actions which can include but not limited to conducting earthquake preparedness and response planning and training, evacuation drills and exploring the possibility of developing earthquake-resilient infrastructure codes for that Region and by extension Guyana.

The SRDC said it is in constant contact with the CDC and it has been relaying information about the situation on the ground.

“A team from the CDC will be here on February 5 and 6 to investigate and assess the situation on the ground,” the SRDC said.

“For now, we advise all, especially those who are directly affected to be vigilant and exercise caution, as we are still unaware of the full cause and extend of this natural event,” the Council stated.