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T&T participates in Exercise Caribe Wave11

Trinidad and Tobago, represented by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) and the Meteorological Service of Trinidad and Tobago, is an active member of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS). The ICG/CARIBE EWS was established in 2005 as a subsidiary body of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) with the purpose of providing assistance to all member states of the region to establish their own regional early warning system. It was formed in direct response to the lessons learnt from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The main objective of the CARIBE EWS is to identify and mitigate the hazards posed by local and distant tsunamis.

At the annual meeting held in March, 2010, the ICG CARIBE EWS proposed to hold a tsunami exercise, entitled Caribe Wave 2011, on March 23, 2011. Therefore, today, simulated tsunami warning, watch and advisory messages will be sent from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) in Hawaii, to the Tsunami Warning Focal Points (TWFP) in the Caribbean region. For Trinidad and Tobago, the TWFP is the Met Office. The Met Office will then contact the ODPM and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and these agencies will go through the motions of contacting other agencies and organisations and following the Tsunami Warning Protocol for the country. The general public will not be involved in this particular exercise. The messages will reflect a fictitious earthquake of 7.6 magnitude off the coast of the American Virgin Islands, generating a tsunami.

The tsunami exercise is being conducted to assist tsunami preparedness in the Caribbean region. According to the IOC, “the purpose of this exercise is to improve Tsunami Warning System effectiveness along the Caribbean coasts. This exercise provides an opportunity for emergency management organisations throughout the Caribbean to exercise their operational lines of communication, review their response procedures and promote tsunami preparedness. ”

Historical tsunami records from sources such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Geophysical Data Centre (NGDC) show that almost 100 tsunamis have been observed in the Caribbean with 23 impacting the coasts of the region. Potential sources for tsunamis in the region include the faults in the Caribbean, steep shores offshore, subareal and submarine volcanoes, the region east of the Azores Islands, and portions of the continental slope off the US and Canadian coast due to sub-sea landslides.

Over the last two days, Monday March 21- Tuesday March 22, the ODPM met with representatives from forty (40) agencies and organisations (such as the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service, the UWI Seismic Research Centre, the Government Information Service Limited, the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross, the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association, the Ministry of Housing and Environment, Ministry of Tobago Development, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service) to review and improve the National Tsunami Warning Protocol for Trinidad and Tobago. These protocols will be practiced/exercised during today’s simulation Caribe Wave 11exercise  .

The ODPM would like to stress that the public will not be involved in this exercise nor would the public be inconvenienced in any way.

For further information, please visit:

http://ioc-unesco.org/index.php?option=com_oe&task=viewEventRecord&eventID=794

Issued by:-

Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit

868 640 1285 ext 14240/ publicinformation@odpm.gov.tt

 

 

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