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Tortola, BVI, October 13, 2008 (DDM) – According, to reports issued by the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, 3 earthquakes were felt throughout Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands this weekend. A strong earthquake measuring a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter scale was felt throughout Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands at approximately 6:40am on Saturday October 11th. The report indicated that the epicenter was located near 19.3 north latitude and 64.8 west longitude, or 100 miles NE of San Juan at a depth of 16 kilometers.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, August 13, 2008, (DDM) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in conjunction with the Department of Disaster Management hosted a two-day workshop on the determination of wind forces for the design of health care and other buildings on August 11th & 12th at Maria’s by the Sea. The workshop was tailored for engineers, architects and checkers and focused on how to build principally for hurricanes with some consideration of multi-hazard design to include earthquakes.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, August 11, 2008, (DDM) – The Colorado State University team of forecasters led by Phillip Klotzbach has issued updated predictions for the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The forecasters have increased their April numbers based on warm sea surface temperatures observed over the tropical Atlantic in June and July combined with an active early hurricane season. The August forecast is now calling for 17 named storms up from 15, 9 hurricanes up from 8, and 5 intense hurricanes of category 3, 4, or 5 up from 4. According to Mr. Klotzbach “the primary concern with the current very active, seasonal forecast number is the continued ocean surface warming in the eastern and central tropical Pacific. Although it seem unlikely at this point, there is a chance that a weak El Nino could develop by the latter part of the hurricane season, if that happens, it would likely reduce the number of late season tropical cyclones”. The predictions also outlined a 67% chance of an intense hurricane making landfall in the United States and an above average chance of a major hurricane landfall risk in the Caribbean.

Tortola, BVI, October8, 2008 (DDM) – Today the British Virgin Islands join countries around the world in celebrating International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR Day). The 2008-2009 theme is “Hospitals Safe from Disasters.” According to Director of International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Mr. Salvano Briceno, “As part of the new World Disaster Reduction Campaign 2008-2009: Hospitals Safe from Disasters, UNISDR Secretariat is working closely with the World Health Organization, with support from the World Bank, to reduce risk, protect health facilities and save lives”.

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