Local January 6, 2012 | 6:18 am

Local seismic fault unleashed the quake, expert says

Santo Domingo.- The seismic fault which crosses southern San José de Ocoa province unleashed the 5.3 magnitude quake felt in nearly the entire country at 5:35am yesterday, affirmed Santo Domingo State University (UASD) Seismology Institute (ISU) director Eugenio Polanco.

He said the quake’s epicenter was southeast of Ocoa, at latitude 18.3 and longitude 70.4, 18 kilometers below the Earth’s surface.

The tremor generated 12 aftershocks, the last 9:25am, of magnitude 3.3, the expert said.

Polanco said the Ocoa fault is very active and has caused tremors as strong as 6.5, occurred in 1962.

He said the superficial earthquakes range as deep as 70 kilometers, though in the case of geologic faults rarely exceed 25 kilometers.

The seismologist added the earthquakes are natural movements, for which people should have an emergency plan that begins at home, recognizing the risks and designing escape routes.

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