OFFICE OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT CONDUCTED EARTHQUAKE DRILL AND EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION TESTING FOR CARIBE WAVE 21
The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) carried out an earthquake and evacuation drill in schools on Thursday March 11 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence. The earthquake drill was one of the key activities in support of Caribe Wave, the annual tsunami exercise of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The objectives of the earthquake drill were to test and exercise the earthquake safety protocols of schools; test the evacuation protocols of schools and to assess the effectiveness of the earthquake and evacuation protocols of schools in a pandemic environment.
Following evacuation from the school buildings, teachers and students were encouraged to discuss their experience and their school tsunami safety protocols particularly for schools located in coastal low-lying areas.
The ODM also collaborated with key stakeholders, including the Dominica Police Force, Fire and Ambulance Services, Dominica Red Cross and Petro Caribe, on March 11 to execute a communication testing exercise with a view to assess the emergency communication network. Contact will be made with other stakeholders before the start of the upcoming hurricane season to ensure that the emergency communication network is operating seamlessly.
With over eighty percent of tsunamis generated by earthquakes which occurs quite frequently in the region, the public is being encouraged to increase their awareness about tsunami and to know the natural tsunami warning signs.
- If you FEEL a strong earthquake and you are close to a beach or near a river DO NOT wait for official warning leave the area immediately;
- If you SEE the water suddenly retreat or
- If you HEAR a loud roar from the sea following a strong earthquake, it could be a tsunami; leave the area immediately.
If you experience any of these natural tsunami warning signs, move quickly and safely to higher ground (recommended height above 30 metres or 100ft) or as far inland as possible.
The ODM expresses appreciation to the Ministry of Education and all schools who were able to support the promotion of earthquake safety and to all stakeholders who continue to enable the advancement of Comprehensive Disaster Management in Dominica.