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A short earthquake just rocked Trinidad. About 10:13 pm, an earthquake lasting no more than 3 seconds rocked the Caribbean island of Trinidad. It is unclear if it was felt in Tobago. As a free service to the world, the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program would normally provide the magnitude but thanks to the Republican government shutdown, the data is still unavailable.

The USGS website had this message on it: “Government Furlough: Due to a lapse in Federal funding, the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program has suspended most of its operations. While the USGS will continue to monitor and report on earthquake activity, the accuracy or timeliness of some earthquake information products, as well as the availability or functionality of some web pages, could be affected by our reduced level of operation.”

The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre website was also down.

Earthquakes are also classified in categories ranging from minor to great, depending on their magnitude.

Class Magnitude

Great 8 or more

Major 7 – 7.9

Strong 6 – 6.9

Moderate 5 – 5.9

Light 4 – 4.9

Minor 3 -3.9

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