St. Kitts and Nevis will be participating in the 2018 Caribe Wave Tsunami Regional Exercise on Thursday 15th March. The scenario this year will take the form of a magnitude 8.6 earthquake along the Northern Lesser Antilles, just off the coast of Barbados. It is simulated to trigger a regional tsunami. Due to the location of the earthquake, it will be expected to affect the eastern side of the island, St Andrew and St David.
The Tsunami Exercise Caribe Wave 18 will have three scenarios: Barbados, Colombia and Puerto Rico. All scenarios will start, with one dummy message, at 1400 UTC (time of the earthquake) and the 1st message for each of the three scenarios will be 5 minutes later (1405 UTC).
According to the INTERGOVERNMENTAL OCEANOGRAPHIC COMMISSION (UNESCO), the exercise aims to improve the Tsunami Warning System effectiveness along the coasts of the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions. It provides the opportunity for the corresponding emergency management organizations to exercise their operational lines of communications, review their tsunami response procedures, and promote tsunami preparedness.
The Nevis Disaster Management Department will utilize this opportunity to validate the operational readiness of the Tsunami Warning Focal Points and the Tsunami Warning National Contact; improve operational readiness; validate the timeliness and accuracy in the dissemination of warnings and information to critical agencies, stakeholders and the public; authenticate the organizational decision-making process (tsunami response or Disaster plans) and evacuations, and to confirm the accuracy and timeliness of the methods used to notify and instruct the public, and the time taken to arrive at the Tsunami Safe Sites(Assembly Points).
Caribe Wave was birthed at the eighth session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS-VIII), on 29 April-1 May 2013 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The decision was made to conduct tsunami exercises named CARIBE WAVE on an annual basis leaving each Member State to define its level of participation. At its Twelfth Session (Puntarenas, Costa Rica, 10-12 May 2017), the ICG/CARIBE-EWS, recommended that Exercise CARIBE WAVE 18 take place on 15th March 2018, with three hypothetical scenarios.