The diversity of the Caribbean Region presents a challenge to the construction and maintenance of all aspects of a multi-hazard warning system.

This is according to Chair of the Caribbean Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System (ICG/CARIBE EWS), Dr Lorna Inniss of Barbados.??

She was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Meeting of the ICG for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions which was held in Managua, Nicaragua, from March 15-17 and was hosted by Nicaraguan Institute for Geo-sciences.

Welcoming partnerships between "the rich and poor, the strong helping the weak, the technically competent transferring technology to the technically challenged," Dr Inniss noted, however, that despite the challenges, over the past five years,??progress was made in implementing, monitoring and detection systems, communications, and public education and awareness.

She praised the determination of those who HAD been devastated by earthquakes and tsunamis, such as Nicaragua, Colombia and Puerto Rico, who, she said stood ready to demonstrate their best practices to those who had not lived through such an experience.

Addressing the audience, which included representatives of the 28 member states and observer organisations, including a Haitian delegation, the ICG Chair, in referring to the Haiti earthquake of?? January 12, stated that?? "we are all strongly committed to working with you to build an effective warning and mitigation system for future events. We also think of the population of Chile… As they too begin the daunting task of rebuilding, we renew our purpose to utilise the many lessons and best practices which we learned from them and other states in the Pacific."

Barbados was also represented at the Meeting by Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Judy Thomas.

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