Barbados not prepared for a tsunami
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, March 12, 2012 – Barbados’ ability to respond to a tsunami or other major event is under the microscope.
But, the country’s attorney general, Adriel Brathwaite has given the assurance that government is doing all in its power to better prepare citizens for the possibility of a major natural hazard.
He made these comments during the third public lecture on tsunamis hosted by the Department of Emergency Management’s Standing Committee on Coastal Hazards on: The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: One Year Later.
Brathwaite pointed out that one of the first steps being taken by government was the Coastal Risk Assessment and Management Project with the Inter-American Development Bank.
That project, he said, was expected to present a comprehensive view of the impacts of coastal hazards, as the science must first be understood in order to agree on evacuation routes, and identify safe zones.
“We in Barbados tend to feel we are immune to natural hazards, but as a country we cannot take preparedness lightly,” he said. He added that the project overtime will address questions such as “how to know when to stop running because we are high enough”, or “is vertical evacuation in a three-story coastal building safe”.
Brathwaite, also Minister of Home Affairs added that Barbados could not assume because it was in the Caribbean it would not be struck by a natural event.
During his address, the minister highlighted the fact that Japan which was considered to be well prepared to handle such disasters lost more than 20,000 lives.
Brathwaite cautioned that Barbados may be overdue for a significant event, but stressed that the onus was on all to be in a position to respond.