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

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

One of the houses where some walls came tumbling down when the earthquake struck on Sunday last

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.”
SRDC representative Immaculata Casimero, when contacted by Guyana Times, explained that the situation has left many residents fearful.
“Residents are fearful now and they don’t know what is really happening, and they are asking if persons can come and assess or investigate what is happening,” she explained.

South Rupununi District Council representative Immaculata Casimero

“It’s just the sounds, like explosion sounds…,” Casimero revealed when asked if vibrations were also still being felt.
This publication was informed that the sounds occur over 10 to 15-minute intervals.
When the 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck on Sunday, tremors were felt throughout Guyana.
Based on assessments conducted to determine the extent of the damage 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 cracks opened in the earth in several instances in South Rupununi.
According to the SRDC representative, in one of the houses that suffered damage, the cracks are getting wider as the days go by.
The Regional Administration has since committed to helping the families rebuild their houses.
The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has announced it would be partnering with the Natural Resources Ministry to conduct further analysis, observation, and assessments to gain a comprehensive perspective of the region’s susceptibility to seismic hazards.
The Commission 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 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 has been 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 (today) 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 extent of this natural event,” the Council stated.
The village of Katoonarib has a population of roughly 460 persons with some 85 households. Its main economic activity is farming.