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U.S. Virgin Islands to Participate in CARIB WAVE 2019 Tsunami Warning Exercise

February 21, 2019

St. Croix, V.I. – Citizens, businesses, and communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands will participate in the CARIB WAVE 2019 Tsunami Warning Exercise set for March 14, 2019.

The exercise provides an opportunity for Virgin Islands residents, businesses and communities to build resilience by exercising emergency communications, reviewing tsunami response procedures and promoting tsunami preparedness.

CARIBE WAVE is the annual tsunami exercise of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The purpose of the exercise is to improve the Tsunami Warning System’s effectiveness and strengthen community preparedness along the coasts of the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions.

At 10:00 a.m. on March 14, 2019, the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) will launch CARIB WAVE 2019 in the territory with testing of the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. Participants will engage in scenarios developed for the CARIB WAVE Exercise based on a magnitude 6.0 earthquake associated with an underwater volcanic eruption, and subsequent collapse of an unstable sector of Kick’em Jenny which generates a tsunami. During the self-led drill, participants will practice how to “Drop where you are, Cover your head and neck, and Hold On until shaking stops.” Participants will also practice evacuation to a “safe zone,” review tsunami response procedures and conduct preparedness discussions.

“The U.S. Virgin Islands are located in a seismically active region, prone to earthquakes and tsunamis,” said Acting VITEMA Director, Denise Lewis. “With the recent increase in seismic activity in the region, it is clear that U.S. Virgin Islands residents must prepare now, rather than later,” said Lewis. “We must continue to be informed about the dangers of earthquakes and tsunamis and know how to survive during and after these disasters.”

Register your participation today at TsunamiZone.org to be counted with other participants, be listed on the website (optional), be an example to others, and to get e-mail updates.

To sign up for emergency, weather related, public safety and service disruption alerts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, sign up for Alert VI.

For questions and additional information, contact VITEMA’s Training & Exercise Coordinator, Mr. Irvin Mason at (340) 774-2244 or irvin.mason@vi.gov