Deputy Director of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Kenson Stoddard has emphasized the importance of tsunami readiness in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
He noted that SVG is not immune to threats to livelihood and existence posed by the natural disaster.
According to Mr. Stoddard St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been affected by tsunamis five times throughout its history.
“It is important for communities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be tsunami ready because it’s a real threat to our livelihood, our existence. Dr. Latchman just indicated that we have had experiences, we’ve had these waves impacting the shores of countries in the Caribbean over the years. From my recollection, we have experienced just about four or five tsunamis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines of varying impact. The record for Bequia—the damage level was described as two, so that means that we had some flooding, it is said that just about 50-100 houses were affected,” he said.
Coastal communities from Kingstown to Argyle were recognised during a tsunami-ready ceremony.
These communities completed the UNESCO tsunami-ready process of assessment, community engagement, simulation exercises, developing standard operating procedures for evacuation and communicating early warning messages at the community level in the event of a tsunami.
These communities are the second to be certified as Tsunami Ready in St Vincent and the Grenadines as Union Island gained recognition in 2020.