Tsunami Warning Sign Unveiled at Martin’s Bay, BarbadosNov 11, 2016
Many communities in the Caribbean are susceptible to hazards, including to tsunamis. Although rare, tsunamis can be extremely deadly with at least 500 having impacted the Caribbean and adjacent regions in the past 500 years. Of these, almost 20 have caused deaths and in 2010, a tsunami in Haiti caused at least seven lives to be lost.
Early Warning Systems can save lives when tsunamis are imminent and through funding from European Union Humanitarian Aid, the UNDP Subregional Office for Barbados and the OECS is in the process of developing an Early Warning System for two communities in Barbados, including Martin’s Bay. Of equal importance is community and individual understanding about how and where to evacuate before a wave strikes.
As such, the erection of a sign at Martin’s Bay in St. John, Barbados is an important step in improving awareness of and preparedness for tsunamis both by community members and visitors alike with Martin’s Bay positioned as a prime attraction for tourists. The unveiling of the Tsunami Smart sign coincides with World Tsunami Awareness Day, celebrated on November 5.
UNDP recognises and continues to support the activities undertaken by the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Red Cross Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Resource Centre (CADRIM), the St. John District Emergency Organisation (DEO) and community members, the Government of Barbados and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in reducing vulnerability to hazards in the Martin’s Bay community.
UNDP will continue its support for activities designed to improve resilience in vulnerable communities, through bettering the understanding of hazard risks faced and improving community preparedness and response.