CaribeWave 2015 Anguilla

Disaster ManagementThe Valley, Anguilla – The CaribeWave 2015 Tsunami Exercise was held on 25th March 2015 and was based on an earthquake occurring at approximately 10 a.m. producing a Tsunami forecasted to impact Anguilla approximately three hours after the earthquake event.

The principal participants in the exercise were the Primary Schools which included for the first time the Central Christian School. This marks the first time that a private school participated in the tsunami exercise and represented a significant milestone for the Department of Disaster Management in its efforts to ensure that all schools on the island are at a comparable level in terms of tsunami preparedness.

For this exercise the majority of Government Primary Schools utilised the opportunity to test and refine their evacuation plans developed in 2013 without actually evacuating their respective premises. The notable exception was the Adrian T. Hazell Primary School who performed a full evacuation of the school to a safe area off campus.

Central Christian School marked their first participation with a full evacuation from their premises to the Pope Hill assembly site where the Department of Disaster Management utilised the opportunity to speak to the staff, parents and students about the exercise, its purpose and the importance of having tsunami evacuation plans.

The Director of Disaster Management, Ms. Melissa Meade stated “It is indeed heart warming to see the response of the Primary Schools to this exercise. The fact that this year a private primary school chose to participate indicates that the tremendous work put into this and previous exercises was not in vain but in fact acted as a catalyst to encourage participation from other entities. It is important that we strive to encourage even greater participation year after year in order to adequately promote tsunami awareness not only through schools but the communities and the private and public sectors in Anguilla.”
The Department therefore wishes to sincerely thank all of the participants of the exercise special commendation to the staff and students of Adrian T Hazell and the staff, students and parents of the Central Christian School for their willingness to participate in this very important exercise.

The Department also wishes to thank the Royal Anguilla Police Force who was instrumental in directing traffic and ensuring the safety of the children as they were evacuating along the main roads.

The Director further intimated “We recognise that the exercise was not without fault however these drills are important to determine the levels of preparedness of Anguilla for a tsunami event. With each passing year the exercise will improve as participants develop and repeatedly practice their tsunami plans. We will collect feedback over the coming weeks in order to strengthen the exercise by addressing shortcomings and thereby provide maximum benefit from Anguilla’s participation in CaribeWave.”

Department of Disaster Management