ST KITTS NEVIS and amongst other Caribbean Islands will participant in a tsunami response exercise on March 19, 2020. This exercise is to evaluate national and local tsunami response plans, increase tsunami preparedness, and improve coordination throughout the region. Two exercise scenarios have been planned for this exercise. The first scenario simulates a tsunami generated by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake located along the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault Zone (EPGFZ) in Jamaica. The second scenario is a tsunami generated by a magnitude 8.5 earthquake located approximately 270 km off the Portugal coast.
Recent tsunamis, such as those in the Indian Ocean (2004, 2018), Samoa (2009), Haiti (2010), Chile (2010, 2014, 2015), Japan (2011), and Honduras and Sulawesi (2018), attest to the importance of proper planning for tsunami response. This important exercise will test the current procedures of the Tsunami Warning System and help identify operational strengths and weaknesses in each community.
The CARIBE WAVE 2020 exercise, will simulate a widespread Tsunami Threat situation throughout the Caribbean, which requires implementation of local tsunami response, plans. The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) will issue one initial dummy message on 19 March 2020 at 14:00 UTC, and will disseminate it over all standard Tsunami Warning Centre broadcast channels. This dummy message shall be issued to test communications with Tsunami Warning Focal Points (TWFPs) and National Tsunami Warning Centres (NTWC), and to start the exercise. Then at 14:07 UTC, the PTWC will send by email the simulated tsunami text products to officially designated TWFPs and NTWCs according to the chosen scenario. Each TWFP/NTWC will decide how to disseminate the messages within their area of responsibility.
There will be a mass evacuation of persons from Coastal areas within the Tsunami Hazard Zones to higher ground at designated safe sites. Motorists are asked to be vigilant, drive with due care and attention in an effort to preserve the safety of All Pedestrians evacuating. If any real tsunami threat occurs during the time period of the exercise, the exercise will be terminated.
The exercise is sponsored by the UNESCO/IOC Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE-EWS), the Caribbean Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Centro de Coordinación para la Prevención de los Desastres Naturales en América Central (CEPREDENAC), EMIZ Antilles and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).