TSUNAMI EVACUATION DRILL

A Tsunami Evacuation Drill will be carried out in Union Island today by the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).

The main objective of the Tsunami Evacuation Drill is to test the Tsunami Inundation Evacuation Plans developed for Clifton and Ashton Union Island under the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and its Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre Tsunami Recognition Programme.

Residents of Union Island, students of the Mary Hutchinson and Stephanie Browne Government Schools and owners and operators of businesses along the coastal areas will participate in this exercise.

Director of NEMO, Michelle Forbes, said participation in the Tsunami Evacuation Drill will give residents a better understanding of where they live or operate business in relation to the tsunami risk, the areas likely to be flooded by the tsunami waves and the assembly areas outside the tsunami inundation zone.

Miss Forbes is also advising the public that this is just an exercise and not a real event. It is an exercise to simulate or pretend that an earthquake occurred off the coast of Venezuela and presents a Tsunami Threat to Union Island.

NEMO will activate the National Tsunami Warning Protocols for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the residents of Union Island will also activate the Tsunami Evacuation Plan for Union Island.  Once again the public is asked to note that this is just a simulated scenario and this means that Union Island is not under a real Tsunami Threat.

The Tsunami Evacuation Drill Exercise will be held in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and its Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (UNESCO/IOC-CTIC) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

The Exercise will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon today.