July 29, 2004 A minor earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter Scale rolled under Tortola and St. Thomas on Tuesday afternoon after a period of of very little geological activity, according to area seismologists.
The quake was strong enough to capture the attention of someone on Tortola who contacted the University of Puerto Rico's Mayaguez campus, home of the Puerto Rico Seismic Network.
Scientists there labeled the tremor a "felt event" and said it originated 10 kilometers north of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands at 18.8 degrees north latitude and 64.27 degrees west longitude.
The event occurred at 3:30 p.m. and was felt as far west as Crown Bay, St. Thomas. But according to seismologist Victor Heurfano at UPR Mayaguez, the mild quake went mostly unnoticed. "According to the report we received it was felt in Tortola, but nothing much was reported," he said. The magnitude of the tremor was 4.0 on the Modified Mercalli Scale, he said, and "for me, it's a normal event."
The quake also escaped the immediate attention of the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency; VITEMA officials acknowledged the occurrence on Wednesday.
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