St. Maarten will be host to Tsunami conference 

POSTED: 05/7/15 12:25 PM

GREAT BAY – St. Maarten is hosting the 10th Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS-X). The conference will take place from 19-21 May at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino and Spa. The Office of Disaster Management and Fire Department that falls under the Ministry of General Affairs, is coordinating the local planning for the ICG/CARIBE EWS-X.  The Government of St. Maarten is proud to host this important regional meeting.

ICG/CARIBE EWS was established in 2005 as a subsidiary body of the IOC-UNESCO (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission-United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization) with the purpose of providing efficient assistance on tsunami risk reduction to Member States in the Caribbean region after the lessons learnt from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The conference is expected to be attended by more than 50 participants from across the Caribbean Region representing disaster and emergency management departments and agencies as well as from various regional and international organizations.

“St. Maarten opted to host this conference since it has attended a number of them over the years and being in a tsunami zone, it is also a relevant issue for disaster management planning officials in the country who are part of various entities to receive an insight into discussions and preparations that are being made for a regional system.  “This conference offers our local disaster management officials to get acquainted with the issues at hand and learn about the latest trends and developments for being tsunami ready,” Section Head Disaster Management Paul Martens said on Tuesday.

During the conference, the attendees will review the report of the last CARIBE WAVE 2015 simulation. The exercise is held annually and is designed to evaluate the response capacity of Caribbean countries and adjacent regions in the event of a dangerous tsunami. An update will be provided about the Caribbean Tsunami Information Center (CTIC), and various work groups will be established to provide information about: monitoring and detection systems; warning guidance; hazard assessment; preparedness, readiness and resilience; warning communication and dissemination. There will also be a lecture about a ‘Community-based Tsunami Warning System,’ as well as an update on preparations for CARIBE WAVE 2016.

St. Maarten is an associated member of UNESCO and because of this a member of the regional Intergovernmental Coordination Group.

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