The earth surface is made up of many huge pieces of rock, like a jigsaw puzzle, call tectonic plates. An Earthquake is a sudden violent shaking of the ground, typically causing great destruction, as a result of movements within the earth's crust or volcanic action

For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate tectonics have shaped the earth, as the huge plates that form the earth's surface slowly move over, under and past each other. Sometimes, the movement is gradual. At other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release accumulated energy. When the accumulated energy grows strong enough, the plates break free. If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries and extensive property damage

Types of tectonic plate activity

Earthquake activity in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a result of various types of movements taking place within boundary zones of the Caribbean Plate.

There are generally three kinds of plate movements which can cause an earthquake:

Spreading: when plates are spreading or separating from each other, we call the movement divergent

Colliding: when plates are colliding, or pushing each other, we call the movement convergent

Sliding: when plates are sliding past each other we call this movement lateral