The CARIBE WAVE annual tsunami exercise of the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions, will take place on Tuesday, March 21.
The Fire Department and Office of Disaster Management will be taking part including several hotel resorts that are part of the St. Maarten Timeshare Association.
The participating resorts are: Flamingo Beach Resort, Royal Palm Beach Resort, Oyster Bay Beach Resort and La Vista Resort.
The participating resorts will carry out an evacuation of the ground and lower level floors at their facilities. The exercise entails that a three meter tsunami wave would impact coastal areas of the country.
The exercise objective is for countries, emergency management stakeholders and communities at risk, to test validate and update their tsunami response plans.
For CARIBE WAVE 2017 three different scenarios will be simulated. Each country will choose the one that best fits their objectives.
The first scenario simulates a magnitude 7.9 earthquake generated off the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The second scenario is an 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the Southeastern coast of Cuba.
The third scenario is a magnitude 8.5 earthquake northeast of the Lesser Antilles which Sint Maarten will be taking part in this exercise.
Each one of the 48 countries and territories members of CARIBE EWS will decide the level of participation and coordinate the corresponding activities within their jurisdiction.
Sint Maarten is a member state of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions
(Intergovernmental Coordinating Group/CARIBE EWS), which is one of United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) bodies.
The ICG CARIBE EWS is the regional mechanism that visions to install tsunami preparation in the region by education, information and cooperation.
The Office of Disaster Management and Fire Department that falls under the Ministry of General Affairs.
ICG/CARIBE EWS was established in 2005 as a subsidiary body of the IOC-UNESCO (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission-United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization) with the purpose of providing efficient assistance on tsunami risk reduction to Member States in the Caribbean region after the lessons learnt from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Preparatory meeting at the Conference Room of the Fire Department last week to prepare for CARIBE WAVE 2017 exercise. (DCOMM Photo)