Remembering the November 29, 2007 Earthquake – CDEMA CU holds earthquake exercise

Bridgetown, Barbados, November 26, 2010 (CDEMA) -The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) will once again be commemorating the anniversary of the November 29, 2007 earthquake as Caribbean Earthquake Safety Day.  Staff of the CDEMA Coordinating Unit will participate in an earthquake exercise “Exercise Shake-Up” today, Friday November 26, 2010.

 

This observance of the November 29, earthquake, every year, serves as a reminder of the vulnerability of the entire Caribbean region to the earthquake hazard.  Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Eastern Caribbean and in parts of South America experienced that 7.4 magnitude earthquake.  It occurred 25 miles north northwest of Martinique at a depth of 90.8 miles and was felt in thirteen of the CDEMA eighteen Participating States. There was also evidence of structural damage in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Saint Lucia.

Unlike hurricanes, there is no indication or way of warning people that an earthquake is about to strike. It can strike anywhere in the Caribbean and at any time.  As many experienced on November 29, 2007, an earthquake can happen while we are at work, home, shopping, driving or out in the open.  We must therefore be prepared and know the safety precautions to take in the event that such occurs.

This Friday, “Exercise Shake-up” will test the response of the CDEMA Coordinating Unit staff to an “earthquake”.  The staff will practice the drop, cover and hold on drill, evacuation of the buildings and assembling of staff.

CDEMA has been advocating for the remembrance of this event annually on the last Friday of November, to highlight and promote earthquake safety measures through the Caribbean. It is an opportunity for schools, hotels, households, and other entities to practise the Drop, Cover and Hold On drills and building evacuation as well as engage in other Public Education and Awareness activities on earthquake safety measures.

“Exercise Shake-Up” will be held at 2.00pm today, at the CDEMA Headquarters, in Manor Lodge, Barbados.