Preparation Exercise for Tsumanis Held in the Caribbean
Bridgetown, Mar 17 (Prensa Latina) Nearly 40 countries in the Caribbean Sea will participate today in a test exercise for tsunamis and other coastal threats, in order to measure their preparedness for such events.
The test is called Caribe Wave 16 and is being sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco); it is the second of its kind conducted since 2011.
The main objective will be to check the effectiveness of warning devices in the area and the level of coordination among those responsible for managing emergencies including: meteorological services, coastguards and rescue teams, among others.
The test will likely stage the simulation of a strong earthquake facing the coast of Venezuela and the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.
The idea is to issue test messages from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
The exercise will involve 70,000 people in Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica and Mexico.
It will also include the citizens of Nicaragua, Panama, Aruba, Bonaire, Saba, Curacao, St. Eustatius, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Suriname and Venezuela.
Statistics indicate that there have been 75 tsunamis in the Caribbean over the past 500 years - that is 10 percent of the total recorded worldwide in the same period.
Unesco has identified earthquakes, landslides and volcanic activity among the main causes of these tsunamis, which have left at least 2,500 dead and caused significant economic losses.
The concern is that due to population increases in recent years as well as a large influx of tourists in coastal areas, the region is now even more vulnerable.
For years experts have warned of the high possibility of strong earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis hitting the Caribbean due to the existence in the area of major tectonic activity.
One of the earth's main fault lines is located near Dominica and is this area is considered the point with the largest number of active volcanoes in the world.