Tortola, BVI, March 03, 2009 (DDM) – At a press conference held this afternoon, Deputy Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) Zebalon McLean announced the Territory's annual simulation exercise will take place on April 02. The 2009 North Atlantic Tsunami Exercise (LANTEX) will test the Territory’s response mechanism to the threat of a tsunami caused by a major earthquake. It is being conducted to assist earthquake and tsunami preparedness efforts along the United States and Canadian east coasts, the Gulf of Mexico, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The pseudo earthquake will measure 8.6 in magnitude off the northern coast of Puerto Rico that generates a destructive tsunami in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with projected tsunami amplitudes of over five metres. The earthquake will occur in the morning of Thursday, April 2, 2009. The exercise provides an opportunity for emergency management organisations along the Atlantic coast, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to exercise our operational lines of communications, review earthquake/tsunami response procedures, and promote tsunami preparedness. Referencing the December 26 tsunami of 2004, McLean said, "Many factors were present to explain why we did not share the misfortune of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. However, there are just as many existing factors that could result in us experiencing a tsunami right here at home, as we are located in the most active seismic zone in the Caribbean. This fact is reiterated in the constant information, reports and findings that are made available to us by our partners at the Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS)."

Tortola, BVI, January 29, 2009 (DDM) – The Department of Disaster Management continues its mission to promote disaster awareness Territory wide, with the production of a Geological Hazards Handbook for Secondary Schools. The 86 page publication provides detailed information on geological hazards, which include earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. The publication also captures local and regional impacts and gives students tips on how to be prepared for each hazard.

Tortola, BVI, January 26, 2009 (DDM) – Approximately 70 persons from the private and public sectors convened a the H. Lavity Soutt Community College’s Auditorium last week Friday and Saturday to participate in the first of 3 workshops geared towards professionals in the development industry. The workshop entitled “Seismic Hazards and Designs” focused on Introduction to the Building Code Requirements, BVI Seismic Network, Seismic Design, Tsunami Warning System and BVI Seismic Data.

Tortola, BVI, November 13, 2008 (DDM) – Hurricane Paloma, the 16th named storm and the 8th hurricane for 2008, left the islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman with widespread damage as it passed on Saturday November 8th as a Category 3 hurricane. Ninety to 95 percent of homes, businesses, churches, and public buildings were damaged, some beyond repair. Recovery efforts commenced shortly after the passage of the storm to distribute relief supplies and restore electricity and water to the islands.

Tortola, BVI, November 12, 2008 (DDM) – Contractors and artisans are hereby notified that the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College is offering a Level I Safer Building Course scheduled to begin on Virgin Gorda on Saturday November 22nd 2008. The course will be held in the Enid Pickering Plaza every Saturday beginning at 9:00am for 5-6 weeks. The course is being offered at an inclusive fee of $350. This fee will also cover the cost of textbooks and other relevant course materials. The Level I course covers topics that introduces participants to pre-construction planning, site preparation, foundations, walls roofs, and post construction maintenance.

CDEMA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Resilience Way, Lower Estate, St. Michael Tel: (246) 434-4880, Fax: (246) 271-3660
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