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The Valley, Anguilla – The CaribWave 2017 Tsunami Exercise was held on 21st March 2017 and focused on the potential impacts of a significant “felt” earthquake and resulting tsunami. The exercise had several aims: testing of the CAPiT smartphone application for the Anguilla Warning System, reinforcement of the earthquake and tsunami evacuation procedures for Primary Schools, as well as identifying potential challenges to response that the scenario would pose through a discussion based table top exercise.
The principal participants of the evacuation part of the exercise were the Primary Schools. This year several privately operated education institutions joined the Government Primary Schools in executing the ”Drop , Cover and Hold” paradigm to respond to the simulated earthquake. Additionally, staff and students of Morris Vanterpool, Vivien Vanterpool, Alwyn Allison Richardson Primary, and Guishard Academy immediately evacuated their school compounds and travelled on foot to designated tsunami assembly points or safe areas. These evacuations were supported by the Royal Anguilla Police Force who led the evacuations and managed traffic flow in order to ensure the safety of the approximately four hundred (400) exercise participants.
Members of the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) were also on hand to aid with the evacuations and reported that the students continue to treat the annual exercise with the required seriousness and performed “magnificently”.
The second component of the exercise was the table top for the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) personnel. The NEOC was activated simultaneously with the evacuation exercise. Participants reported immediately to the NEOC for a two (2) hour session of exercise injects and discussion regarding Anguilla’s capabilities to respond to an earthquake and tsunami causing significant damage to the island.
Melissa Meade, Director of Disaster Management, stated: “The Department wishes to thank those members of the public who assisted us in the form of evaluators , the CERTs, the schools as well as the Royal Anguilla Police Force who were instrumental in directing traffic and ensuring the safety of the children as they performed the evacuations. I would also like to thank the response personnel who participated in the tabletop exercise as practice is critical to ensuring that we are better prepared to manage potential risks. This annual evacuation exercise is important to reinforce earthquake and tsunami preparedness procedures especially for the children. Children are sometimes the best avenue to pass information along to their parents and it is heartening to see the seriousness with which the children partake in the evacuation exercise. I have little doubt that the children will act in the required manner to ensure their safety and the safety of their loved ones if ever an earthquake and/or tsunami was to impact Anguilla.”
For any additional information regarding this exercise or earthquake and tsunami safety please contact the Department at 4972926 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Disaster Management
22 March 2017
– Press Release