ODPEM tests tsunami warning system

Disasters are unpredictable and can occur at any time. As such, it is imperative that preparedness mechanisms be implemented to cushion the impact and damage. Across the globe, discussions are still ongoing about the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that occurred in Japan, causing widespread deaths, injury and property damage.

The disaster resulted in many countries re-examining their preparedness mechanisms, especially since a tsunami is likely to take place anywhere, after a massive earthquake.

A tsunami is a series of waves caused by the displacement of a large body of water, usually an ocean; though it can occur in large lakes. Due to the immense volumes of water and the high energy involved, tsunamis can devastate coastal regions.

While we cannot be completely prepared for natural disasters, it does make sense to be as prepared as possible. To this end, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), recently carried out a Tsunami Simulation Exercise for the Caribbean, to raise awareness about the phenomenon and examine the early warning signs in place for the region.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Director General of ODPEM, Ronald Jackson, says the initiative was aimed at assessing and improving these mechanisms.

“It was really to look at our own protocol for dealing with a tsunami threat, and to really see how our current resources would be deployed, how our existing early warnings mechanisms could be used, to disseminate the warning information out to the last mile,” he says.

This was really a region initiative, not just aimed at addressing the targets that ODPEM has, but a region wide objective. The exercise also seeks to ensure that Caribbean disaster management agencies are ready to respond, in the event of a hazard threat, such as a tsunami.

Read More – JIS