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UNITED NATION, New York, March 21 — Caribbean nations on Wednesday participated in a full-scale tsunami alert exercise organized under United Nations auspices to test their reaction capacity.

According to the scenario of the exercise, organized under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an earthquake measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale will strike 90 kilometres off the coast of Oranjestad, Aruba, in the Caribbean Sea, generating a tsunami.

The fictitious alert message will be sent by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) and the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (WCATWC), triggering local tsunami response plans.

“The test is designed to determine whether Caribbean countries are ready to respond in the event of a dangerous tsunami,” UNESCO stated in a news release.

The agency added that the goal is to test the Tsunami and other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions, which was established in 2005 by the countries of the region in collaboration with the Commission, ensuring that the national focal points responsible for the dissemination of the alert and first responders receive timely warning.

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“Previous experience underlines the crucial importance of rapid transmission of information to minimize the damage caused by tsunamis,” said UNESCO.

According to the agency, 75 tsunamis have occurred in the Caribbean over the past 500 years — representing about 10 per cent of the entire number of oceanic tsunamis in the world during that period.

Simulated tsunami exercises have been organized previously in the Pacific in 2008 and 2011 and in the Indian Ocean in 2009 and 2011.

(UN News)

One reply on “C’bean nations participate in UN-backed tsunami readiness test”

  1. Tsunamis are something that I have quite a lot of knowledge about.

    Did you all know that the Pacific and the Mediterranean countries have ocean wide cooperation with each other, all linked to report and warn of possible and actual emergencies from Tsunami’s.

    The Caribbean and South American countries do not have such cooperation in place.

    Tsunamis have a general cycle that appears to happen every 50 years. As such a major tsunami is over due.
    We have two huge threats to us in the Caribbean, imminent tsunamis.

    The Northern Caribbean Tsunami’s
    Based on the historical record, and according to scientists, there’s a serious risk of a devastating tsunami in the Northern Caribbean Sea off the coasts of Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
    An earthquake in that region could generate waves up to 40 feet high and threaten the lives of up to 35.5 million people living in coastal areas, they said. Smaller waves could reach Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and as far north as New Jersey.

    Southern Caribbean, ‘Kick `em Jenny’
    Tsunamis are a potential hazard in the Caribbean, some say a disaster waiting to happen in the Southern and Eastern Caribbean. Tsunamis are the one geological hazard that are actually increasing with time. This is because the submarine volcano, ‘Kick `em Jenny’, in the Southern Grenadines is gradually evolving into a condition where it is more and more likely to generate a significant tsunami. Some scientists consider the probability that ‘Kick `em Jenny’ will generate a significant tsunami (amplitude more than ten meters at ten kilometers from source) from the moment you read this to within the next 50 years to be greater than 50%.

    Distances from ‘Kick `em Jenny’ and ‘hit-time’ of ensuing Tsunami after eruption.

    The Grenadines 35 miles to 78 miles NNE -hit-times’ from 4min to 9min

    St. Vincent 137 km – 85 miles North-North-East ‘hit-time’ 10 minutes

    Trinidad 160 km – 100miles South ‘hit-time’ 12 minutes

    Saint Lucia 231 km – 143 miles North-North-East ‘hit-time’ 17 minutes

    Barbados 257 km – 160 miles East-North-East ‘hit-time’ 19 minutes

    Martinique 289 km – 180 miles North-North-East ‘hit-time’ 21 1/2 minutes

    Dominica 360 km – 224 miles North ‘hit-time’ 27 minutes

    Guadeloupe 435 km – 270 miles North ‘hit-time’ 32 1/2 minutes

    Montserrat 522 km – 325 miles North ‘hit-time’ 39 minutes

    Antigua 559 km – 347 miles North ‘hit-time’ 42 minutes

    Saint Kitts 589 km – 366 miles North ‘hit-time’ 44 minutes

    Anguilla 696 km – 432 miles North-North-West ‘hit-time’ 52 minutes

    Waves of 3 to 30 m can be expected, with numerous casualties.

    Both of these expected tsunami’s, or series of tsunami’s will affect SVG. Tsunamis travel at speed of about 500 miles an hour. One thing you can all be sure of, we are definitely not ready.

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