Anguilla to participate in regional tsunami exercise

ANGUILLA–A regional tsunami exercise is to be held this week and Anguilla will join others in the region on March 15. The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate local tsunami response plans, increase preparedness for a tsunami and improve coordination through the region. Anguilla has been participating in this regional exercise since 2010 and it is a requirement of the Tsunami Ready status conferred on the island in 2012. Last year’s exercise included 32 nations and 15 territories with a total of 679,985 people involved.

“This important exercise will test the Anguilla Warning System and our tsunami warning protocol as well as test and evaluate community preparedness for such an event,” said Susan Hodge, who is this year’s exercise coordinator and Programme Officer in the Department of Disaster Management.

The exercise is titled Caribe Wave 18 and will simulate a widespread Warning and Watch situation throughout the Caribbean. An activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre and its component parts through a table-top exercise, is planned, as well as an evacuation exercise for the primary schools. The Barbados Earthquake scenario has been chosen for Anguilla and will simulate a major earthquake and tsunami generated by a magnitude 8.6 earthquake at 10:00am on March 15, at 12.20 degrees north and 58.30 degrees west.

The exercise is sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)) Intergovernmental Coordination group for Tsunami and other Coastal Hazards Warning System, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Centro de Coordinacion para la Prevencion de los Deastres Naturales en America Central, and the United States (US) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Locally it is sponsored by the Department of Disaster Management.

Residents are being encouraged to participate by signing up with schools, businesses, faith-based organisations, community groups, Government agencies or individuals.

Source: The Daily Herald