St. Kitts – Nevis Government Prepares For Earthquakes

Earthquake Tremor Waves

St. Kitts – Nevis Has A History Of Earthquakes

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 08, 2011 (SKNIS)

Officials in St. Kitts and Nevis are better prepared to handle earthquake disasters after participating in a Readiness and Capacity Building Workshop last week.

National Disaster Coordinator Carl Herbert told SKNIS that the February 3-4, workshop brought together 33 representatives from “key response agencies” who reviewed the Model Earthquake Contingency Plan developed by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

The draft document will serve as a template for CDEMA member states and Mr. Herbert said participants were able to provide input on local experiences and realities, and got a clearer sense of the roles and responsibilities of each person under the proposed structure, should a disaster take place. He added that a tabletop exercise (a team-based problem solving method) tested aspects of what was outlined in the plan.

The process was ably guided by Consultant Arturo Lopez of Mexico who has more than 25 years of experience in the area of disaster management. He was assisted by Dr. Virginia Clerveaux of CDEMA.

Mr. Herbert explained that “the sessions went extremely well” and the turnout over the two-day period was very encouraging. “The interaction and camaraderie was excellent. We had some very frank, respectful and important discussions and persons applied themselves to the task of making the necessary adaptations to the draft model plan that was submitted for consideration,” he added.

The National Disaster Coordinator stressed that earthquakes are one of the many hazards that the Region is vulnerable to and a call was made for the area to increase preparedness after the recent Indonesian tsunami that was triggered by an earthquake at sea.

Mr. Herbert added that persons have also been trained in search and rescue techniques, extraction from collapsed buildings and other safety procedures instituted about five years ago.