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Quick reaction crucial 
to tsunami response by James Whittaker March 25,2013   |  Source: cayCompass

Alerting the public quickly, clearing the beaches and advising tourists to move to the upper floors of hotels, would be part of the Cayman Islands’ response in the event of a tsunami in the region.

Hazard management experts took part in a Caribbean-wide exercise last week to test the readiness of territories in the event of a tsunami. As part of the exercise officials had to show how they would respond to a fictitious earthquake measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale, 90 kilometres off the coast of Aruba.

The Cayman Islands Hazard Management team put out a dummy bulletin to local media at 8.50am on 20 March, as part of the exercise, alerting people of the quake and warning a tsunami was expected to hit Grand Cayman at 9.57pm.

The initial bulletin asked people to evacuate coastal areas by 9.20am.

A second bulletin added: “A tsunami warning is in effect for all coastal areas in Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Residents and visitors should immediately evacuate all beaches and low lying areas, and head inland or evacuate vertically to higher floors in multistory concrete buildings.”

The bulletin warned of a wave height of 1 to 3 feet and cautioned the tsunami could have an impact on the coastline.

McCleary Frederick, director of Hazard

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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