Barbados is not under a tsunami alert of any kind, neither is there a need to panic!
Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, gave this assurance, and urged residents to remain calm and vigilant, as an increase in seismic activity around the Kick ???em Jenny volcano resulted in Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago being placed on an orange alert today.
Speaking during a press conference at the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) this afternoon, the Minister stressed that Barbados experienced a similar situation in 2001, and urged the public to intensify their preparedness efforts.
He pledged that Government and all emergency management officials would continue to monitor the situation closely over the next 24 hours and provide updates to the public on any changes in the alert levels.
Acting Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), Dr. Lorna Inniss, also said that Barbados was under no tsunami alert at this time, but stressed that the threat was not non-existent, but extremely low.
???An eruption [of Kick ???em Jenny] can cause a tsunami, but we are dealing with possibilities. The dome of the volcano is in extremely deep water at this stage. As the dome grows???and it grows extremely slow over decades and centuries??? it moves closer to the surface of the water, and the greater the probability that when it erupts you will have a tsunami. At this point in time it is rather low as it is in extremely deep water and therefore the possibility of a tsunami is no,??? she stated.
Dr. Inniss said the orange alert was issued ???purely??? because of the increased seismic activity and the possibility of an eruption. ???We are dealing with probabilities and when we say there is the possibility of an eruption within 24 hours, it doesn???t mean that Kick ???em Jenny will erupt, or that it will erupt within 24 hours; these are all probabilities,??? she said.
Dr. Inniss explained that there were an increasing number of sensors surrounding the dome of the undersea volcano since the early 2000s, which provided officials with real time information on what was going on in the dome.?????It is now those sensors that are detecting increased activity over the last 24 hours,??? she pointed out.
She added that she would ???not be surprised??? if recent seismic activity near Barbados in recent days was linked to that now being detected from the sensors around the dome of Kick ???em Jenny.
The Acting CZMU Director also pointed out that what was needed, as the orange alert remained in effect, was for persons, particularly those living in coastal areas, to remain as vigilant as possible.
Acting Director of the DEM, Kerry Hinds, also explained that an orange alert meant that there were high elevated levels of seismic activity at the Kick ???em Jenny submarine volcano located at 12 degrees north, 61 degrees west or eight kilometres north of Grenada.
In addition to advising members of the public not to panic, to maintain vigilance and monitor radio stations for updates, Ms. Hinds said the DEM issued all mariners with a statement outlining the areas they should avoid.
???All shipping stays outside of the first exclusion zone which is 1.5 km from the summit [of the volcano], and they (the Seismic Research Centre) have further delineated a second exclusion zone for non-essential shipping to stay 5 km clear of the summit,??? she said.
She further stated: ???We understand the public is concerned, but we are advising persons to remain calm and vigilant and continue to listen to any updates that we will have on a frequent basis.???