Today Tuesday November 5th is recognized as INTERNATIONAL TSUNAMI AWARENESS DAY.
As an Agency we feel proud to join the rest of the world in recognizing the significance of the day and also to celebrate our many successes in getting the State of Grenada better prepared for this hazard.
Speaking on the importance of the day and Grenada’s achievements, Acting National Disaster Coordinator Supt. Sylvan Mc Intyre said that as an Agency we are positioned to disseminate information and to chart the course of national readiness and preparedness.
“Let me in recognition of this day reflect and remember our brothers and sisters who are survivors of Tsunami impacts globally, those who have survived, live to tell the story that those who have died could not have said”, Mc Intyre said.
In 2016, the Agency begun the sensitization work on the hazard through funding provided by USAID/OFDA under the Caribbean Tsunami Warning program (CTWP). Since that time, Grenada today has declared two parishes Tsunami Ready; St. Patrick’s in 2018 and sister isles Carriacou and Petite Martinique November 2019.
Highlighting the Agency’s many achievements, Mc Inytre described these accomplishments as remarkable and another milestone in the progress of hazard and general risk reduction in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Reiterating the importance of championing this cause Supt. McIntyre singled out the important role information sharing plays in the process.
“We as an Agency have been going into our communities, villages trying to ensure that Tsunami Readiness, the packaged information is always readily available and accessible to all community members”, Mc Intyre emphasized.
The target of Government is to have all parishes recognized Tsunami Ready.
Speaking to Government’s policy position on Tsunami Preparedness, Minister with responsibility for Disaster Management Sen. Winston Garraway said Government is working along with international partners to build resilience among all sectors.
“We are extremely satisfied with the work we have been able to achieve through NOAA as well as CTIC in been able to certify parishes in Grenada Tsunami ready.”
Sen. Garraway added that Government is also working with the World Bank through a catastrophic deferral draw down option.
“It is a US 20 million dollars line of contingency funding that is been generated to help the country respond in the event of geophysical impacts or hydro meteorological impacts”, Garraway said.
The fund ensures Government can respond in a timely manner after these hazards affect the country.
World Tsunami Awareness Day was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness about the devastating effects of tsunami and the steps to be taken to safeguard life and property.
The 2019 World Tsunami Awareness Day is celebrated to focus on reducing damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services.
Though Tsunamis are unusual events, they can be very deadly. In the last 100 years, around 58 tsunamis have destroyed approximately 260,000 lives which is an average of 4,600 per disaster. This has surpassed all other natural calamities. The maximum number of deaths had occurred in December 2004 in the Indian Ocean tsunami. It caused approximately 227,000 deaths in 14 countries including India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand being the hardest-hit.
NaDMA encourages all, to always be prepared; FEEL a very strong earthquake RUN, SEE the water withdrawn an unusual distance RUN, HEAR a strange roar RUN.