Sint Maarten Disaster Management Organization partaking in Caribe Wave Tsunami Exercise on Thursday.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):—The National Disaster Management Organization on Sint Maarten, through the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) in Cay Hill which is located at the Fire Department, will be participating in a regional Exercise called Caribe Wave Lantex 16 on Thursday, March 17.

The purpose of the exercise is to assist tsunami preparedness efforts in the Caribbean and Adjacent regions, including US and Canadian east coasts.

Caribe Wave Lantex 16 is a Caribbean Tsunami Warning Exercise. Sint Maarten’s ODM will focus on information exchange and cooperation with French Saint Martin along with the physical evacuation of the lower parts of a beach front resort.

Dummy warning messages will be issued to test communications with Tsunami Warning Focal Points and Emergency Management Organizations within the Region.

The exercise scenario will focus on a powerful earthquake just north of Venezuela that will trigger a tsunami throughout the Caribbean region. The effects on Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin will be a tsunami wave with a height of maximum three meters, as well as a second earthquake off the coast of the Dominican Republic an hour later. This means all beachfront properties will be effected under the exercise scenario.

Part of the exercise includes the organization of an evacuation of the lower levels of a beachfront hotel, namely Simpson Bay Resort and Marina, which is participating in exercise. The resort has responded with great enthusiasm and is fully cooperating with the exercise. ODM takes this opportunity to thank the resorts management for their participation.

The Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the US National Tsunami Hazard mitigation Program, are the entities involved in carrying out the tsunami exercise on March 17.

Sint Maarten is a member of the ICG/CARIBE EWS.

The tsunami warning exercise is being conducted to assist tsunami preparedness efforts throughout the Caribbean region. Recent tsunamis, such as those in the Indian Ocean (2004), Samoa (2009), Haiti and Chile (2010), and Japan (2011), attest to the importance of proper planning for tsunami response.

Historical tsunami records from sources such as the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center show that over 75 tsunamis with high validity have been observed in the Caribbean over the past 500 years.

These represent approximately 7-10 per cent of the world’s oceanic tsunamis. Earthquake, landslide, and volcanic tsunami sources have all impacted the region. Since 1843, almost 3,500 people have lost their lives to tsunamis in the Caribbean.

Source: St. Martin News Network Sint Maarten Disaster Management Organization partaking in Caribe Wave Tsunami Exercise on Thursday.