EMA Prepare To Participate In Caribbean Tsuami Exercise (Caribe Wave) On March 21, 2024

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Basseterre, St. Kitts – St. Kitts and Nevis will join other territories in the Caribbean
as a participant in a tsunami response exercise on March 21, 2024. The exercise, titled CARIBE WAVE 24, will simulate tsunami threat situations throughout the Caribbean, which requires the implementation of local tsunami response plans. This year’s exercise focuses on Dieppe Bay to Lynches and will include some institutions in Saddlers.

The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate national and local tsunami response plans, increase tsunami preparedness, and improve coordination throughout the region. According to Oureika Lennon-Petty, Acting Deputy National Disaster Coordinator at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), here in St. Kitts and Nevis CARIBE WAVE will test tsunami preparedness in all areas. The exercise helps answer an important question – how prepared are we to respond to a tsunami?

“That question we try and answer each year by exercising and we do that in different areas that are vulnerable to the threat of a tsunami,” Mrs. Lennon-Petty said.

The exercise includes two simulated scenarios of an earthquake occurrence in the Puerto Rico Trench and Panama. NEMA will choose the scenario best suited for the Federation. Residents in Dieppe Bay, Lynches and Saddlers are encouraged to take part in the activity.

“It’s important to participate in the exercise because tsunamis, unlike a hurricane, for example, they don’t give you warning on when they may occur and so it’s important for you to know what to do in the event of a tsunami. It’s important for you to know where to go if there is a threat of a tsunami and so participating in exercises such as these helps to prepare you for that day. We hope that that day won’t come, but, in case it does, it’s good to be prepared than unprepared,” she added.

The activity is being planned by a local organizing committee comprising representatives from NEMA, The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, The St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services, the Geographic Information System Department, and the St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross Society.

The exercise is sponsored by the UNESCO/IOC Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE-EWS) in coordination with the Caribbean Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Centro de Coordinación para la Prevención de los Desastres Naturales en América Central (CEPREDENAC), EMIZA Antilles, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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