A strong tectonic earthquake (magnitude 6 on the Richter Scale) was recorded on Friday 16 May 2014 at 7:01 a.m. (local time). The epicentre was located 117 km north-east of La Désirade, at a depth of 26 km. It was followed by several aftershocks (magnitude 4.6 to 5) over the following hours.
This quite rare event (only three earthquakes of magnitude 6 or more have been recorded in the last 50 years within a 100 km radius), is probably located either on or very close to the contact zone between the two plates, east of the historical, 1843 rupture zone (magnitude 8+ earthquake). It suggests that the eastern part of this contact zone might be partially locked.
The 16 May earthquake was located on a rather complex contact zone deformed by the rise of ocean-floor corresponding to the Tiburon rise and its mechanism was different from the 18 February one, which occurred off the coast of Martinique (and most probably located within the accretion prism).
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Translation / revision carried out by the Masters 2 ILTS team