The British Virgin Islands will be excluding the evacuation component of its annual Caribe Wave Exercise, which is scheduled for Thursday, March 19.
Deputy Governor David Archer, Jr said the decision to exclude the evacuation was made as a result of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“As we may all be aware, evacuation and assembling play an important role in our readiness for seismic hazards. But, in this moment, it is more pressing for the territory to focus on following best practices for preventing the spread of this infectious disease by social distancing which, in this case, means avoiding mass gatherings,” the Deputy Governor explained.
He, however, said the BVI along with the other partners in the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS) will proceed with the remaining components of the exercise.
“This means that persons should exercise any other responses that are necessary for a seismic event other than evacuation. We will receive all the emergency warning communications from the Department of Disaster Management, and we will practice the Drop, Cover and Hold technique,” Archer Jr said.
He added: “Depending on their duties and functions, some agencies may have additional actions to exercise.”
The Deputy Governor is calling for all public officers and departments to make an effort to participate in the exercise, as it provides the territory with an opportunity to test existing procedures in various agencies to determine how prepared the BVI is, in the event of a natural disaster.
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