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CZMU Director, Dr. Lorna Inniss. (FP)

Home and business owners are being encouraged to look around their properties and pay attention to the things they could do to secure their surroundings against the threat of coastal hazards.

In addition, Acting Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, Dr. Lorna Inniss, is also urging beach users to be aware of their surroundings and look for possible ways of escape in the event of something untoward occurring while at the beach.

She made these calls during an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service at a recent Moonlight Movie Night at the Gall Hill hardcourt in Gall Hill, St. John to highlight the tsunami hazard and Barbados’ vulnerability to such disasters.

"Where you locate your property is important. If you do have a property on the coast, identify your evacuation route out from where you are," she advised.

However, those going to the beach are also being encouraged to look around and see where the high points are located.

"You should consider, ???are there any trees on this beach tall enough that if I had to run up [to] them I can get there, or is there a tall building that I have access to that I can get into and go up?’ These are some of the things that Barbadians need to begin thinking about," she said.

She added that there was still work to be done in terms of coastal manufacturing, but noted that people were getting the message.

Dr. Inniss stressed that there was no doubt that the City of Bridgetown was vulnerable. "The question is, ???where will you go, and how will you take care of yourself and maybe one other person when something like this [a tsunami] happens?" she queried.

She emphasised that it was important for people to give consideration to key issues. "From where you locate your house, to how you educate your children on precautions to take while on the way to school, these are all things that have to be considered," she said.

However, Dr. Inniss noted that tsunamis were just one coastal hazard that people needed to focus on. "We experience hurricanes every year, and there are storm surges associated with those hurricanes, and they have the probability of affecting Barbados. We get winter swells every single winter, that is why we are getting the erosion on the west coast all the time," Dr. Inniss said.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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