HMCI testing systems in UNESCO tsunami drill

| 21/03/2024 | 26 Comments
Caribe Wave 24 – two tsunami scenarios

(CNS): Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) is taking part in CARIBE WAVE 24 today as part of the annual tsunami exercise of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The exercise, which aims to test tsunami preparedness in the region, creates two tsunami scenarios, one generated by a magnitude 8.7 earthquake in the Puerto Rico Trench and the other caused by a magnitude 8.47 earthquake located on the Northern Panama Deformed Belt.

HMCI is using the drill to test communication and dissemination of tsunami messages and information from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to the Cayman Islands National Tsunami Contacts and National Tsunami Focal Points. It will also test satellite phone technology to contact the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, HMCI said in a release.

“Additionally, the recent acquisition of the NOAA Tsunami Inundation Model (with the support of the Caribbean Tsunami Information Center, USAID, NOAA, and others) represents a pivotal moment for local risk assessment capacity for the tsunami threat, and it will lead to significant changes in Cayman’s preparedness strategies,” HMCI said.

HMCI Director Dani Coleman said, “We do not know when a tsunami will hit Cayman, but we do know that there will be little notice and this puts a big responsibility on HMCI to plan, develop standard operating procedures and practice through exercises like Caribe Wave. This also puts responsibility on every member of the public to know how to respond and to download the National Emergency Notification App.”

HMCI said that participating in exercises is essential for readiness and assists in identifying gaps and issues. It is expected that the lessons identified during the 2024 Caribe Wave Exercise will be integrated into the plans and procedures and improve the Cayman Islands’ ability to respond to and recover from tsunamis if they occur.

The exercise will be coordinated with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Caribbean regional emergency management stakeholders: the Coordination Centre for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (CEPREDENAC), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and the French Inter-Ministerial for the Antilles Estate Major Zone (EMIZA), as well as the Central America Tsunami Advisory Center (CATAC) of Nicaragua. 

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Comments (26)

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  1. Ready for anything says:

    I suppose the odds are that we may have a tsunami by the end of this century at the earliest,so will Govt supply all of us with an inflatable lifejacket like they do on airplanes where the odds of a survivable landing at sea are about the same?.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In the highly unlikely event of a tsunami, even a warning system that works would be of no use. Might as well just stick your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are lots of Tsunamis that register under 3 feet above normal wave height at that tide level. They happen all the time, and there is no notice. On the apocalyptic events near us, that might be moving at the speed of a jet liner, it’s true that some might not be able to do anything in time, but HCMI might warn other islands that could have precious seconds to improve their survival chances, and minimise loss of life.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Was the notification on AtHoc? I did not receive one. The last notification I had was dated Feb 6, 2024 advising of school closure due to weather conditions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope none of the may sayers are fareners living here for a while who should Trever how they ran away in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.? Hope you
      Remember. Hipócritas

  4. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t get any alert on the app. Doesn’t seem to have worked.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The last tsunami drill, I received the message 10 minutes after it was due to hit.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Okay, but genuinely what is the risk of a tsunami actually impacting the Cayman Islands based on the position and characteristics of fault lines and the geographical features surrounding our islands? I would expect it’s so low as to be practically zero.

  7. JWP says:

    We are fortunate not to have a continental shelf.

  8. Anonymous says:

    BlackBerry AtHoc app is 4+ years old, gets 2.5 stars of 5 on 61 reviews. Collects Data on Location, Contact Info, User Content, and other identifiers. Warns that “continued use of GPS in background can dramatically decrease battery life”…the last thing anyone needs in an emergency. For all of its years of operation and payroll, the HMCI doesn’t yet have a siren network, or proposed a Tsunami Evacuation Map.

    • Anonymous says:

      For what? An imaginary hazard.

      • Anonymous says:

        Puerto Rico Trench bears massive slope failure scars, some as wide as 50 km across. Large tsunamis killed 40 there in 1918, and 1800 more in 1946. The region has high seismicity, plate boundaries, volcanism, large earthquakes, and submarine events. Port Royal Jamaica disappeared in 1692 leading to the establishment of Kingston. Another severe event in 1907. Rare is not the same as imaginary.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The world is drowning under all the acronyms.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Usual running up and down in $70,000 Silverados?

  11. Richard says:

    please include me in the emergency alerts.


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