Some communities in the north of the island have attained their Tsunami Ready Recognition certificates.
The Department of Emergency Management (DEM), in collaboration with the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), held a Tsunami Ready Recognition ceremony on Wednesday to acknowledge the communities from Shermans in St. Lucy to Mullins in St. Peter, achieving International Tsunami Ready Recognition.
DEM’s Director, Kerry Hinds, in congratulating the communities for their achievement, pointed out that it was made possible “as a result of a myriad of stakeholders and partners working together assiduously, as we developed our action plan, and implemented the various activities on our road to recognition, all aimed at sensitising the Barbadian populace about the tsunami and other coastal hazards and building capacity”.
CZMU’s Director, Dr. Leo Brewster, explained why the communities on the north-western quadrant of the island from Shermans in St. Lucy, to Mullins in St. Peter were chosen. He said the area “captured everybody and everything in one snapshot”.
He continued: “We had some aspects of rural community living and development, we also had a situation where we had commercial establishments, a small city centre, tourism facilities and high-end luxury accommodation along the way. All of those things can be impacted when a tsunami, a hurricane or any significant storm surge comes along. So, it was important to try and reflect that as part and parcel of the project.”
UNESCO-Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC), Programme Manager, Alison Brome, in her remarks stated that the Tsunami Ready Pilot Programme had been implemented in the region under the aegis of the Caribbean Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Early Warning System since 2015, following adaptation from the pilot phase started in 2011.
She added that funding was made possible by the European Commission, and it was done with the technical support of other regional partners, such as the NOAA Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program, CDEMA and the Seismic Research Centre of The University of the West Indies; the financial assistance of donors, and the strong leadership of member states.
Ms. Brome congratulated Government, as well as the communities from Shermans to Mullins on behalf of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the CTIC. She stated: “We found your partnership throughout this process inspiring, and salute you on this attainment,” adding that the work had just begun, as the IOC would return in three years to assess eligibility for renewal.
Recognition certificates as well as communication and alerting equipment were presented to the St. Lucy, St. Peter and St. James North District Emergency Organisations. The equipment consisted of handheld radios and loud hailers, which were sponsored by the European Union, UNESCO, IOC and CTIC. Also, as part of the ceremony, two “Be Tsunami Smart” signs/maps were unveiled. The one located at Speightstown Esplanade was sponsored by Earl’s Funeral Home, Consumer Guarantee Insurance and CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank. The other, at Road View in St. Peter, was sponsored by the Arawak Cement Company Ltd., IDEAs Transformation and the Republic Bank (Barbados) Ltd