Tsunami drill on Thursday

Barbados’ early warning systems for the tsunami hazard will be tested during the annual Caribe Wave exercise on Thursday, March 10.

During this exercise, emergency officials and staff from the Barbados Meteorological Service (MET Office) will test new software designed to pick up signals directly from the US Geological Survey, which will then be fed into the island’s Common Alerting Protocols (CAP) warning system.

Deputy Director of the MET Office, Brian Murray, explained that the intention was to test the tsunami bot, which was an automated warning system designed to improve the speed at which tsunami warning messages are received.

“We will not know if the system works until we test it,” he said.

This exercise will see alert messages being broadcast across the island’s CAP system via cellular phones, email alerts and radio interrupts across the CITA 90.1 FM, 98.1 The One FM, SLAM 101.1 FM, and Y 103.3 FM radio stations.

However, people are asked not to panic as the tests are being conducted as part of activities for the Caribe Wave 2022 exercise being executed by the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) through the Technical Standing Committee on Coastal Hazards.

All messages on air and via social media will be tagged “exercise, exercise, exercise”. However, in the event of an actual event, people will hear the message “no play”.

Those who have not yet signed-up to receive email notifications are encouraged to do so by visiting www.dem.gov.bb, and follow the prompts. Alternatively, they may also download the CAP.CAP application for android devices from the Google Play Store, or the CAPCAP or OPTIMIT for Apple devices, through the Apple store.

In addition, they may also sign up for the BMS Insight app through the Google Play Store to get notifications from the MET Office.

Barbados will mark Tsunami and Earthquake Smart Month from March 1 to 31. (BGIS)

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