TCI News

Turks and Caicos DDME announces Earthquake Awareness Week; Jan 12-18 2020

#TurksandCaicosIslands – January 13, 2020 — The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) will observe Earthquake Awareness Week on 12th – 18th January, 2020. The intention is to sensitize residents and visitors to ensure they can effectively respond to an earthquake event. In addition, the DDME aims to strengthen the Earthquake Preparedness and Response Capacity of the Disaster Management System, by building resilience to earthquake impacts at the National and Community Level.

Several activities (as detailed below) have been planned to commemorate the Week and the Department encourages all to participate.

Scientists have tried predicting earthquakes; however, none have been successful. While they have a pretty good idea of where an earthquake is most likely to hit, they still cannot tell exactly when it will happen. Although not often felt, the Caribbean and Central America Region experiences dozens of measurable earthquakes every week.

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As the DDME continues to enhance the preparedness and readiness posture of the Turks and Caicos Islands through its Comprehensive Disaster Management strategy­-concentrated on planning, training and exercising for all hazards-it is important to note that a critical and essential component of the Country’s preparedness efforts are focused on rare but high impact event such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The recent earthquakes around Puerto Rico serves as a reminder that our region is seismically active and we always need to be prepared.

As we observe Earthquake Awareness Week 2020, it is important that we understand our level of vulnerability to earthquakes and recognize the need to prepare and maintain a state of readiness for such threats. Due to the geographical location of the Turks and Caicos, and its proximity to both the Puerto Rico Trench and the Septentrional Fault System, the islands have a low to moderate susceptibility to earthquakes risks.

ACTIVITIES
Jan 13 Communication Tests beginning at 10:00am

Jan 15 DDME 360 Radio Show via RTC 9:15am
All Week Social Media Postings related to information on
Earthquake Hazards
Jan 18   Youth Parliamentary Debate in Collaboration with the House of Assembly  – House of Assembly, H J Robinson High School, Grand Turk at beginning at 10:00am

Hon. Ralph Higgs, Minister of Disaster Management and Emergencies notes stated; “As the TCI continues to develop plans and programmes towards a more disaster resilient territory, we should all take interest in, and participate during the week so that we remain ready to actively response, as we have to be in a position to help ourselves until reinforcements arrives.”

While we cannot predict earthquakes or prevent them from occurring we can be prepared to respond. Individual, schools, businesses or community groups interested in earthquake tips and learning about what can be done to become more resilient to earthquakes can contact the Department.

TCIG PRESS RELEASE ISSUED JANUARY 9, 2020

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