by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Minister responsible for Disaster Management, Hon Spencer Brand, is encouraging local communities, and by extension, the Caribbean region, to partake in the Caribe Wave Exercise set for Thursday, March 23, 2023.
“In this region, I implore all Government agencies and Private Sector, marine interests, coastal communities and all persons living, working or doing business in the Tsunami Hazard zone in St.Kitts and Nevis to participate in the annual Caribe Wave Tsunami Exercise. Let us all join the effort of practising how and where to evacuate safely, so we will know what to do for a real Tsunami.”
In a statement for Tsunami Awareness Month, Brand recalled the year 1690 when former Nevis capital, Jamestown, was washed away by a Tsunami, thus emphasising the importance of disaster preparedness.
“The impact of Tsunamis can spark fear and confusion among our communities. Our history reminds us that in the year 1690, a massive earthquake of magnitude 8.0 and subsequent Tsunami destroyed the city of Jamestown, the then capital of Nevis. The likelihood of another impact is real, and there are many reports of destructive earthquakes occurring in our region and internationally. Planning and preparedness activities can increase our chances of survival and recovery from such an impact.”
According to the Minister of Disaster Management, the simulation exercise is designed to test the Tsunami protocols and standing operating procedures on the island of Nevis. The key focus objectives are Emergency Communication, Coordination, Evacuation Protocols, Assembly Points Procedures and Monitoring and Evaluation.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Jack Ngumba, Senior Communications Officer at the Nevis Disaster Management Department, told WINN FM that the Multi Hazards Awareness Campaign 2023 continues, whereby faith-based and school-based institutions are responsible for spreading safety awareness to the general public in a given month.
For the month of March, the St. Thomas’ Primary School and the Seventh Day Adventist Church were assigned to lead Tsunami Awareness.
According to Ngumba, the main highlights for Tsunami Awareness month are the Caribe Wave Simulation Exercise and the featuring of St.Thomas’ Primary School on VON Radio’s Youth On The Go programme. The programme is set for March 25, 2023, and will feature a special guest Christa von Hillebrandt- Andrade, Deputy Director of the International Tsunami Information Center- Caribbean Office.