The devastation that occurred in the Indian Ocean in 2004 as a result of a tsunami has prompted Caribbean islands to pay closer attention to the possibility of such a hazard occurring in the region.

Nine years later, the Caribbean Tsunami and Information Centre (CTIC) was established on September 2, and officially launched in Barbados on November 22.

Interim Director of the CTIC, Alison Brome, headed a five-member delegation that paid a courtesy call on Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Gayle Francis-Vaughn. During that recent visit, she expressed her gratitude to the Barbados Government for housing the Centre at the Department of Emergency Management, especially during challenging economic times.

Mrs. Francis-Vaughn noted that several years had elapsed since the idea was first mooted in 2006 to establish the CTIC to serve the countries within the region. However, she noted that although the region ???may have a different language, once washed by the Caribbean Sea, we are one family???.

During the visit, Acting Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, Dr. Lorna Inniss, said she expected CTIC to continue the work started with an education programme for Barbados and the Caribbean.

Manager of the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Programme, Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, expressed her admiration for Barbados??? capabilities to deal with tsunamis, noting that much work had been completed on the Caribbean Tsunami Warning system as a result of this.

She added that centres like CTIC were important for the protection of life and the economy. ???If our country is not ready, then our economies could be devastated,??? she cautioned.

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