Efforts aimed at making St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tsunami Ready continues here through a pilot project being coordinated by several international organizations.

To this end stakeholders are meeting for five days between the period February 25th – March 1st, 2019 at the Conference Room of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) for a Tsunami Inundation Modeling and Evacuation Mapping Workshop. The workshop is the first component of a Tsunami Ready Pilot Project for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Speaking at a brief opening ceremony to open the five day workshop on Monday Feb. 25th, Director of NEMO Michelle Forbes said that this is an important project which will build on the work locally to educate the population and raise awareness on Tsunamis.

Forbes added that in addition to the communities on mainland St. Vincent from Kingstown to Argyle, the project will also focus on Union Island because of its proximity to the underwater volcano Kick em Jenny.

“We think that the threat for a tsunami from Kick em Jenny is currently small, but we are dealing with science and nature and we have to continue to prepare our coastal communities for any threat that may come about” Forbes said.

A three-member team of experts in Tsunami modeling headed by Christopher Moore from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are facilitating the workshop.

Moore who is a principal investigator with the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research said that his team has conducted over thirty of the Tsunami Inundation Modeling workshops through the Indian ocean and South Pacific. He added that NOAA is aware of the vulnerabilities of the region for many hazards and is happy to impart knowledge in the area.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United Nations Education, Sports and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and CARIBE EWS are implementing the Tsunami Ready Pilot Project on mainland St. Vincent from Kingstown to Argyle and in Union Island through financial support from USAID and the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC).

The Tsunami Ready Pilot Project will end on the 30th of September 2019. Some of the activities included in the project are the development and presentation of Tsunami Inundation Maps, the fabrication and installation of Tsunami signage and the establishment of a National Tsunami Ready Board.