BVI News

National tsunami exercise scheduled for March

Previous tsunami exercise. (Photo provided)

PRESS RELEASE: Residents throughout the Territory will soon have an opportunity to participate in the upcoming CARIBE WAVE 18 tsunami exercise which is scheduled to take place on March 15, 2018.

The annual tsunami exercise, organized by the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and other coastal hazards warning system for the Caribbean and adjacent region, will provide an opportunity for its member states, including the BVI, to test their plans, improve their Tsunami Warning System effectiveness and promote tsunami awareness.

Last year, close to 4,500 persons across the British Virgin Islands participated in the evacuation exercises planned and executed by the DDM.

They were guided to designated assembly areas and had the opportunity to test their evacuation plans and procedures.

Training Officer Carishma Hicks who has been organizing these exercises since 2008 is calling for residents to fully participate this year.

“We want to ensure that there is full participation by all especially in light of the tsunami advisory that was issued for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands recently.  We want to test the procedures that would have been implemented if that advisory message was changed to a tsunami warning for the BVI,” she said.

On January 9, an earthquake measuring 7.6 magnitude struck near Honduras at 10:51 pm (local time) at a depth of 10km.

In accordance with the Tsunami Protocols, a Tsunami Threat Message was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for countries close to the epicentre and an Advisory Message was issued by the Puerto Rico Seismic Network for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

On receiving the advisory message the DDM alerted key officials and members of the public using telephone, Whatsapp groups, social media, and subscribers on the BVI DDM website.

A cancellation message was issued by the Puerto Rico Seismic Network at 12:16 am (local time) on January 10.

Hicks explained the differences between the advisory and the warning statements issued by the Puerto Rico Seismic Network.

“If an earthquake poses only a marine tsunami threat to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands then a tsunami advisory is issued.  This may result in minor flooding of harbours and beaches.  This level of impact is a hazard to swimmer, surfers, divers, boaters and others engaging in coastal ocean recreation or work activities.  In considering the actions to be taken during a tsunami warning there will be changes in sea level accompanied by repeated flooding and draining of land near the coast accompanied by damage to or destruction of coastal structures. This level of tsunami impact is a hazard to all persons in coastal areas and inundation zones and under these circumstances, evacuation will be required.”

Persons or organizations wishing to participate in Carib Wave 18 can indicate their interest in participating by emailing the Department of Disaster Management at bviddm@surfbvi.com.

 

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6 Comments

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  1. Good says:

    Again, not everybody live in town we need to hear rhe sirens in west end, carrot bay, east end, outter islands….

  2. The Real Boo says:

    We had one already..in January

  3. Curious says:

    We always do the drills when we are at work. This is good and I hope that businesses have identified people who will take charge and inform their customers on how they should proceed.
    What happens if there is need to evacuate from our homes? Seems to me it should be done in districts as well.

  4. Your chance to participate says:

    Lets see who all will come out and participate now. All the hateful bloggers make sure you get out and practice because the day will come and you might just remember what DDM did and that might save your lives!!!

  5. Retired says:

    At this latitude our periods of daylight and darkness average 12 hours each so why are these drills always in the daytime? Why don’t we have the March drill at night on the Sunday before one of the two March Monday holidays?

    Additionally do NOT publicize the time of the drill. Let the sirens/warning system ‘announce’ the drill at night so all of us living/dining/drinking in our coastal homes/boats/restaurants/bars can proceed up the nearest hill by foot/motorbike/vehicle in an orderly manner.

  6. patrick k says:

    When was the last real tsunami in the VI?

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