Strong deep earthquake close to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Last update: May 29, 2014 at 1:22 pm by By

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Update May 29 13:19 UTC : Local reports are mentioning houses with cracks in Salva León de Higuey

Update 22:24 UTC : List of the most recent earthquakes closest to today’s epicenter. Interesting to see is that almost all of these earthquakes are very deep, this due to the movement of the Oceanic plate towards the south (she dives below the Caribbean plate).  The tectonics of this Caribbean area are very complex with a number of sub-plates as well as dangerous transform faults, like the one who generated the cruel Haiti earthquake. Transform faults are resulting in a mainly horizontal movement which can generate a lot of damage to not properly build houses.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 00.40.04

Update 22:24 UTC : Below the seismogram of this earthquake as recorded in Presa de Sabenta, Dominican Republic

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 00.17.08

Update 21:57 UTC : The main reason why this earthquake was felt in such a wide radius (Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic) is the depth of the hypocenter or breaking point. Although the radius is very wide, the concentrated shaking at the epicenter is luckily also a lot weaker. When this earthquake would have been shallower the risk on serious damage would have been a lot bigger.

Update 21:46 UTC  : USGS has increased the Magnitude again to M5.8 at the same depth. Below the shaking intensities for the most important cities close to the epicenter.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 23.39.01 Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 23.39.10

Update 21:39 UTC : USGS has recalculated the Magnitude and has set it now to M5.7 at a depth of 91 km. USGS projects a max. Moderate shaking in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic and a weak shaking in Puerto Rico.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 23.33.51

Update 21:35 UTC : The earthquake will surely NOT generate a tsunami.

Update 21:32 UTC : The preliminary earthquake Magnitude values are in between 5.3 and 5.8 at a depth of 100 km. This means that there is only a limited chance on serious damage. The deeper the hypocenter is, the less chance on damage.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 23.12.55

Update : Below the Focal Mechanism or Beach Ball of this earthquake. It shows a clear compression

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 00.38.40

31km (19mi) ESE of Boca de Yuma, Dominican Republic
37km (23mi) S of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
55km (34mi) SE of Salvaleon de Higuey, Dominican Republic
68km (42mi) ESE of La Romana, Dominican Republic
175km (109mi) E of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.3

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2014-05-28 21:15:00

Depth (Hypocenter) : 107 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the “I Felt It” button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Boca De Yuma, Dominican Republic May 28 23:43 3.0 85 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Punta Cana - Bottom floor suite of 3 floor swim up. Started strong kept getting worse.sounded like a train thought something had hit the building.Seemed to last a minute to me,but was prob less. Just came back from beach for a nap..and BOOM..I was not really nervous until after, when thoughts of Haiti quake and past tsunami's had me worried. We were there for our 20th anniversary. It felt very strong to me but no damage thank God beach next day was a lot higher tide and strong under tows, water not as clear.
  • Cabarete - J'ai ressenti le tremblement de terre j'étais assis sur le fauteuil du salon et je me sentais basculer par la secousse. Un genre de vas et vient.
  • Punta Cana - Was in the hotel room relaxing..walls started to shake and I heard loud rumbeling. I got off the bed to make my way outside and the floor was moving..almost fell. I'm from CT but lived in CA. I'very felt earthquakes before however being on the beach and an island my next thought was Tsunami.
  • punta cana - Was laying on the bed at the resort and just felt continued shaking. Walls windows trees and bed all shaking vigorously. For about 3 to 5 mins it felt like. No damage in our area.
  • Punta Cana - Heard a loud boom and rumbling like a train. The floor started to move I was located on the second floor of my resort. Lasted a new minutes then stopped.
  • EMSC Dominican Republic Region May 28 23:43 3.0 85 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Boca De Yuma, Dominican Republic May 28 22:29 3.1 87 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Dominican Republic Region May 28 22:29 3.1 87 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Dominican Republic Region May 28 21:35 3.4 84 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Boca De Yuma, Dominican Republic May 28 21:35 3.4 84 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Mona Passage, Dominican Republic May 28 21:15 5.8 90 MAP I Felt It
    GEOFON Mona Passage May 28 21:15 5.8 92 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Boca De Yuma, Dominican Republic May 28 21:15 5.8 91 MAP I Felt It
  • manati - I could feel shaking as I was leaning against my kitchen counter
  • Punta cana - Gedurende een minuut schudde de kamer, de meubelen kraakte
  • Las Terrenas - No damage
  • isla verde - no damage.. but the building was swaying..
  • national distric - we feel the earthquake about 15 seconds this afternoon and was strong quake we specting richter scale the rear meansure
  • san juan - around 5:17pm I felt the bed moving and the hangars in the closet began to swing and the closet doors rattled. fairly gentle rolling feeling.
  • Punta Cana - I'm at Melia Hotel in Punta Cana. I was at the bar when start to shake slowly and was moving fast and strong. The hotel employees are saying that they never felt a shake like this one and everybody was alarmed and nervous. We didn[t have any damage on bbuild infrastructure, but the local people are very alarmed with the isssue.
  • Punta Cana - Never felt a quake before. Very strange. I'm on the 4th floor of my hotel and everything shook for a few seconds.
  • La Romana - se movio la estructura pero nada de daño
  • Gurabo - My room started shaking very strong; at which i quickly ran outside. Only lasted 20 seconds or so.
  • Bavaro - Zover ik weet geen schade, wel heftige beving en ook locale mensen schrokken. En die zijn wel iets gewend denk ik?
  • La Romana - Ningun daño a la estructura, sacudidas de los sillones y escritorios de la oficina, puertas de cristal moviendose tambien.
  • Aguadilla - Se sintió como si fueran dos temblores. El primero fue una vibración que duro unos 5 a 7 segundos, y el segundo movimiento que sentí fue mas marcado con movimiento leve de objetos en tablillas y duro mas tiempo como unos 17 a 20 segundos.
  • Isabela - Lasted for approx 30-45 seconds, might have been longer
  • la romana - estaba en mi trabajo y vi como un edificio se movia
  • Bavaro beach - Shaking with rumbling, we could see glass sliding doors moving. Lasted a good 10 seconds or more
  • Bayahibé - on vient de ressentir un léger tremblement de terre. nous étions assis sur le canapé qui s'est mis a trembler, ainsi que les ventilateurs plafonniers...ça a durer moins d'une minute mais pour une 1ère expérience s'est suffisant!!
  • Cabo Rojo - Fue fuerte bajo tierra, mi casa es de cemento ylas paredes temblaron, la nevera también tembló y duró como 20 segundos.
  • PUNTA CANA - RUIDO, TEMBLOR, VIBRACIONES DE PAREDES Y SUELO. NO HUBO DAÑOS MATERIALES EN EL LUGAR.
  • ponce - I was in university
  • Aguadilla - No damage here but shaking lasted for a few seconds. Enough to knock down things off a shelf in the bathroom.
  • La Romana - Muchas Cosas movidas de lugar, panico el telefono activo con los familiares.
  • Punta Cana - Um único tremor, rápido e forte, sem danos materiais.
  • punta cana - +- 15 sec
  • Bavaro - Es en Breathless se sintio fuerte el temblor sacudidas. Puertas se movian los clientes de la recepcion tanto como empleados salieron afuera la estructura completa se movia. No fue peor todo bien, quedaron algunos con la sensacion.
  • boca chica - secousse de 30s env sans degat apparent
  • Bayahibé - Nous avons ressenti le tremblement de terre qui n'a pas durer très longtemps. La canapé s'est mis a tremblé ainsi que les murs, le sol. Pour un prmière expérience, c'est impressionant!!!
  • Bavaro - Breathless en el hotel todos salimos hacia afuera . Los clientes empleados recepcion. Se sacudieron puertas ventanales. Pero luego todo volvio a calmarse.
  • PuntaCana - U nas bilo zamlatresenie po shkale 5.3 i eto o4en 4uvstvovalos, jiteli bili napugani, povibegali na ulicy. Ya bila doma bez muja, o4en ispugalas, nashu villu praslo i ya 4uvstvovala kak ona poshatnulas. Ni4ego ne povrejdeno. Eto moe pervoe zemletrasenie za soznatelnuy jizn i ya kone4no ne znala kak reagirovat, do sih por duh perevoju. Traslo bukvalno 10 secund.
  • Bayamon - Estaba sentado ... cuando empezo a temblar, primero se sintio leve luego fue mas fuerte ...parecia que no terminaba
  • Aguadilla - No damage in my immediate area and no other damages in the general area that that I know of.
  • Sabana Grande - Estaba sentada, usando la computadora. Sentí el temblor en la mesa y observé el movimiento en la pantalla de mi laptop.
  • Bayahibe - It was for approx 25-30 seconds no damage tks God!!! But some kitchen doors opened and some bath items felt
  • Punta Cana - Tremblement pendant une10e de secondes, pas de dégât à part quelques éclats de peinture au sol...
  • Punta Cana - Secousses 3 fois de suite,tremblement des vitres,et placards pas de degats .
  • Punta Cana - I was grabbing towels for the pool until I started moving with the ground. It was very strong and the people at the hotel never felt this before. Scary for being on vacation :
  • Santo Domingo - (No daño Duración aprox 20 seg Inicio muy leve continuación fuerte sacudida Final movimiento ondulatorio
  • Punta Cana - Walls shaking, doors banging,
  • punta caba - Das Hotelzimmer vibriert für ca. 15 Sekunden.keine sichbaren Schäden.
  • San Lorenzo - First it started with a strong shaking then after a few seconds it lessened. There was a brief moment when it stopped. Then it started once again with less intensity, for another 10 seconds. It lasted about 20 seconds.
  • Punta Cana - 28.05.2014 lockalzeit ca 17.30
  • punta cana - Wackeln
  • San Juan - On 6th flr of hotel and felt move, door was shaking, headboard was moving. Freaky feeling being in an earthquake before. Don't believe there was any damage here.
  • Punta Cana - Das Hotel im 3-Ten Stock hat stark gerüttelt
  • Santo Domingo - Sideways motion, apartment building where I live swayed a bit. Objects rattled and light fixtures moved. Went downstairs and people from nearby office bldg. were outside.
  • La Romana - Lo sentí en la tercera planta del colegio
  • Punta Cana - Staying at the Riu Palace Punta Cana. Was in the pool when suddenly I felt the pool shaking rapidly. Looked around to see if anyone noticed it but not many did. Lasted about 10 seconds.
  • Punta Cana - I was awaken out of my sleep by the very strong shaking and trebling
  • Las Terrenas - J'étais à la terrasse d'un café. J'ai ressenti une vibration dans le sol comme si un gros engin passait à coté et faisait trembler le sol. Puis ça c'est intensifié piur devenir vraiment un tremblement très prononcé. Cela a duré une vingtaine de secondes. C'était impressionnant. La personne au bar a vu les verres bouger, elle a eu un peu peur. Tous les gens autour sont sortis pour en parler et donner leur ressenti
  • Punta Cana - No damage to buildings. Our family is staying at the NOW LARIMAR resort, 2nd floor just came back from the pool and felt the room shaking we thought it was construction but then it lasted too long...so my husband and I went out on balcony and other guests felt it too they were all outside. And the staff too were outside they said they never felt this before here. A little scary!But was reassured by staff and from local friends that there was nothing to worry about. Then it was business as usual.
  • punta cana - Wir lagen am hotel Pool, als es für ca. 15 Sekunden stark wackelte. Keiner reagierte. Es fühlte sich seltsam an
  • Boca de Chavon - Non aucun dommage suite au tremblement de terre
  • Barcelo Bravo Resort - Staying at Barcelo resort 3rd floor.we felt a hard jolt followed by several tremors.they last maybe 15 seconds.it truely got peoples attention. No tsunami thank god
  • Punts Cana Bavaro Beach, Riu Bambu - We were in our 2nd floor room. Doors rattling, bed swaying . Building continued to sway for approximately 15 seconds.
  • Punta Cana - A 17h14, heure locale, nous avons ressenti un soulèvement du sol relativement important. Un effet de vagues souterraines, puis plusieurs secousses latérales. C'est la première fois que je ressens une telle secousse... Je suis originaire de Suisse, habitant Genève. Nous avons quelques secousses sismiques mais rien de comparable à celle de Punta Cana.
  • punta Cana - Por volta de 17 horas ,hora local, dia 28 de maio de 2014. Evento de tremor do solo fez com que todos os funcionários do check in do aeroporto de Punta Cana, Republica Dominicana, corressem para a rua.
  • Punta Cana - hotel grand pricipe bahia ambar. ressenti dans la chambre la ceramique sous nos pieds tremblaient.
  • Bayahibe - Terror, pero ningún daños a propriedades
  • Punta Cana - Keine Schäden, extremes Ohrendruck....
  • Bayahibe - Sensation très bizarre (comme un tournis avant malaise). Mais surtout surprise de voir la voiture garer devant moi ,se balancer. Aucun dégâts .
  • Bavaro - Het duurde enkele seconden, maar het was indrukwekkend . Gebouw bewoog aanzienlijk.
  • Bavaro,Pnta Cana - no damage, felt like a big truck was passing on the highway
  • Playa Bavaro - standen in der lobby. es waren zwei große Rucke und dann kam das Zittern und Wackeln.. dauerte ca. 10 - 15 Sekunden.
  • Punta Cana - Was with my wife on our honeymoon, staying at Catalonia Resort. Woken from an afternoon nap by our entire villa shaking. Lasted about one minute, then stopped. No damage.
  • WCATWC 80 Miles W Of Mayaguez Puerto Rico May 28 21:15 5.3 107 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Isla Verde Carolina - aucun dommage mais le mobilier a tremblé au 8ème étage de notre hôtel vers 17h30
  • Carolina - aucun dommage mais le mobilier a bougé dans la chambre d'hôtel et sur le balcon au 8ème étage.
  • Carolin - Aucun dommage. Le mobilier a tremblé tant dans la chambre d'hôtel que sur le balcon au huitième étage.
  • Isla Verde - Aucun dommage mais le mobilier a bien bougé dans notre chambre d'hôtel que sur le balcon au huitième étage.

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    Country where you felt the earthquake
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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