EXERCISE! EXERCISE! EXERCISE! THIS IS AN EXERCISE! TSUNAMI ALERT MESSAGE

The NDC, NEMA, has advised the following:
Date: 14 MAR 2019
Time: 10:00am
TEST…TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 1…TEST
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
1406 UTC THU MAR 14 2019
THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. THIS MESSAGE IS ISSUED FOR INFORMATION
ONLY IN SUPPORT OF THE UNESCO/IOC TSUNAMI AND OTHER COASTAL
HAZARDS WARNING SYSTEM FOR THE CARIBBEAN AND ADJACENT REGIONS
AND IS MEANT FOR NATIONAL AUTHORITIES IN EACH COUNTRY OF THAT
SYSTEM.

* MAGNITUDE 8.3
* ORIGIN TIME 1400 UTC MAR 14 2019
* COORDINATES 10.0 NORTH 78.5 WEST
* DEPTH 25 KM / 16 MILES
* LOCATION NORTH OF PANAMA
* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. AN EARTHQUAKE WITH A PRELIMINARY
MAGNITUDE OF 8.3 OCCURRED NORTH OF PANAMA AT 1400 UTC ON
THURSDAY MARCH 14 2019.
* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. HAZARDOUS TSUNAMI WAVES FROM THIS
EARTHQUAKE ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE NEXT TWO HOURS ALONG
SOME COASTS OF
PANAMA… COLOMBIA… SAN ANDRES PROVID… COSTA RICA…
HAITI… ARUBA… NICARAGUA… CAYMAN ISLANDS…
JAMAICA… CUBA… BONAIRE… DOMINICAN REP… CURACAO…
BAHAMAS… PUERTO RICO… US VIRGIN IS… TURKS N
CAICOS… VENEZUELA… SABA… SAINT KITTS…
MONTSERRAT… SINT EUSTATIUS… GUADELOUPE… DOMINICA…
MEXICO… HONDURAS… BR VIRGIN IS… SAINT LUCIA… SINT
MAARTEN… SAINT VINCENT AND MARTINIQUE
TEST… RECOMMENDED ACTIONS …TEST
———————————–
* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. MEDIA HOUSES RESPONSIBLE FOR EARLY WARNING & ALERT
BROADCASTING TO THREATENED COASTAL AREAS SHOULD INFORM AND
INSTRUCT ANY COASTAL POPULATIONS AT RISK IN ACCORDANCE WITH
NEMA’S… PROCEDURES AND THE LEVEL OF THREAT.
* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. PERSONS LOCATED IN THREATENED COASTAL
AREAS SHOULD STAY ALERT FOR INFORMATION AND FOLLOW
INSTRUCTIONS FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES/MEDIA.
TEST… ESTIMATED TIMES OF ARRIVAL …TEST
——————————————
* THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE. ESTIMATED TIMES OF ARRIVAL -ETA- OF
THE INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE FOR PLACES WITHIN THE REGION
IDENTIFIED WITH A POTENTIAL TSUNAMI THREAT. ACTUAL ARRIVAL
TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN
WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.

This annual Caribe Wave exercise is being conducted to assist tsunami preparedness efforts throughout the Caribbean and Adjacent regions. Recent tsunamis, such as those in the Indian Ocean (2004, 2018), Samoa (2009), Haiti (2010), Chile (2010, 2014, 2015), Japan (2011), and Honduras and
Sulawesi (2018), attest to the importance of proper planning for tsunami response.

Historical tsunami records from sources such as the NOAA National Centers for Environmental
Information (NCEI) show that from the years 1530 to 2018 tsunamis from earthquake, landslide,
and volcanic sources have all impacted the region (Figure 1). According to NCEI, in the past 500
years over 105 tsunamis have been observed (7-10% world’s oceanic tsunamis) and
approximately 4,500 people have lost their lives to tsunamis in the Caribbean and Adjacent
Regions. Since the most recent devastating tsunami of 1946, there has been an explosive
population growth and influx of tourists along the Caribbean and Western Atlantic coasts
increasing the tsunami vulnerability of the region (von Hillebrandt-Andrade, 2013).

In addition to tsunamis, the region also has a long history of destructive earthquakes. Historical
records show that major earthquakes have struck the Caribbean region once about every 50 years
during the past five centuries. Within the region there are multiple fault segments and submarine
features that could be the source of earthquake and landslide generated tsunamis (Figure 2). The
perimeter of the Caribbean plate is bordered by no fewer than four major plates (North America,
South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Subduction occurs along the eastern and northeastern Atlantic margins of the Caribbean plate.

While the northern and southern Caribbean plate
boundaries are characterized with a predominant strike-slip displacement, the eastern and
western boundaries mark locations where oceanic crust subducts beneath Caribbean plate
lithosphere (Benz et al, 2011). In addition to the local and regional sources, the region is also
threatened by tele-tsunamis/trans-Atlantic tsunamis, like the 1755 from Lisbon. Six confirmed
volcano tsunami source events and two landslides generated from volcanos have affected the
Caribbean and Adjacent regions (International Tsunami Information Center – ITIC and National
Centers for Environmental Information – NCEI, 2018).

Nearly 160 million people live in the Caribbean, Central America and Northern South America.
The question is not if another major tsunami will happen, but when it happens, will the region be
prepared for the impact? The risk of tsunamis in the Caribbean is real and should be taken
seriously.

Tsunami services for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions within the UNESCO IOC CARIBE
EWS framework are currently provided by the PTWC in Hawaii. On March 1st, 2016, enhanced
tsunami products for CARIBE EWS were implemented. The PTWC issues tsunami products
approximately two to ten minutes after an earthquake’s occurrence. The PTWC international
products include tsunami information and threat messages (no longer watch messages). Primary
recipients of the PTWC messages include TWFPs and NTWCs. These agencies are responsible
to determine and issue the corresponding alerts within their area of responsibility according to
established protocols.

In St Kitts and Nevis our National Tsunami Warning Focal Point (TWFP) is the Telecomms
Unit of the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force. This agency is responsible to
disseminate the corresponding warning messages for SKN according to established protocols.
Immediately following the exercise, ALL media are invited to the Evaluation Session, to be held
at the Frigate Bay Development Corp. Club House in Frigate Bay.

F.Y.I.
Exercise Director:
Supt. Lyndon David / Timothy Martin
Basseterre, St. Kitts
Tel. 869 665-4757 – David
Tel. 869 665-9715 – Martin
Email:lyndondavid@hotmail.com
dockerstm@me.com
Exercise Support Team:
Abdias Samuel, National Disaster Coordinator
Claricia Langley Stevens, Deputy National Disaster Coordinator
Dehaan Henry, Police Telecomms
Timothy Martin
Ministry of Health
Department of Phy

Appendix C: Participating Agencies and Organizations
Participating Agencies and Organizations
National Emergency Management Agency
Frigate Bay Development Corp.
Ministry of Tourism
Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police
Ministry of Health
Fire and Rescue Services
Department of Physical Planning
District
Frigate Bay / S.E. Peninsula
Evaluators
Commissioner Austin Williams (Ret)
Sandy Wilkin
Natalie Fough
VOICE CALLS TO MEDIA:
Contact (Name):……………………………………………………………………….
Of (Agency name):………………………………………………………………….
Time Called:……………………………………………………………………………….

Please note: 1. Identify yourself and our agency (NEMA)
2. Indicate that you are calling with an urgent message which requires follow up
action.

3. At the end of the call ask the person to repeat what you have said to them, or to
indicate that they understand the message.

Thank you all for assisting.
Vesta I. Southwell
Public Relations Officer
NEMA

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