The earthquake which shook Antigua and the Leeward Islands on October 8, 1974 is said to have produced the strongest shaking in several of the Leeward Islands since the great earthquake of February 8, 1843.

The 1974 event had a magnitude of 7.5, making it one of the largest earthquakes of the year, worldwide. Fortunately, the source was several kilometers from the nearest settlement, significantly limiting damage to Antigua, Barbuda and St. Kitts. There were four reported injuries and no fatalities.

In Antigua where the damage was most extensive and costly, the Cathedral of St. John suffered extensive damage to its masonry exterior. Ironically this catedral was built at the site of the cathedral destroyed in the 1843 earthquake. Other damage was sustained at the deepwater harbor facility at St. Johns and West Indies oil refinery where thousands of barrels of crude oil leaked from tanks.

On St. Kitts, the tower of the church of St. Thomas fell through the roof of the church causing serious damage, although the level of shaking which produced the tower collapse was probably less than the shaking at Barbuda and Antigua.

 White dot in imagedepicts epicenter of 1974 earthquake.