Enhancing the Region’s Capacity for Tsunami Readiness

Bridgetown, Barbados July 23rd, 2019 Twenty-five (25) representatives from across CDEMA’s 18 Participating States are benefiting from a Regional Tsunami Technical Training Workshop being held in Barbados from July 23 to 26, 2019. The workshop is an activity of a project where Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago are direct beneficiaries. However, all 18 member countries of CDEMA stand to benefit from the project’s outcome of an enhanced Regional Tsunami Hazard Plan.

The workshop is being hosted by CDEMA with funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations DIPECHO Project with technical support from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO/IOC), the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC) and other partner agencies.

Manager in the US National Weather Service (NWS) Caribbean Tsunami Warning Programme, Christa G. von Hillebrandt-Andrade highlighted that the United Nations declared 2021-2030 as a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It is therefore fitting that the Caribbean capitalize on ways to transform tsunami warning systems, reduce loss of life and protect its economies. “This workshop is great opportunity to review the NWS products, increase understanding of support in development and strengthening of national and regional procedures”, said Hillebrandt-Andrade.

Programme Manager for Preparedness and Response at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit, Joanne Persad said, “Over the years, the CDEMA Coordinating Unit has been engaged in enhancing regional readiness for tsunamis via a series of projects and programmes in disaster planning at the regional and national levels through simulation exercises all done in collaboration with several partners.”

“The Regional Tsunami Hazard Action Plan is an annex to the Regional Coordination Plan which will eventually aim to benefit all Participating States, adding to the comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Framework”. Persad implored participants to exchange tools, ideas and lessons learnt during the workshop as they all have a vital role to play in building on the CDM Framework.

Participants will be exposed to a suite of enhanced operational tsunami forecast products and contribute to the finalization of the Regional Tsunami Hazard Plan as well as the Model National Tsunami Warning Protocols and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

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