Grenada joins the rest of the world in the observance of “World Tsunami Awareness Day” — Saturday, 5 November 2016.
It’s being done for the first time by United Nations to sensitize and promote awareness about the impact of the potentially deadly waves. Education and evacuation is the theme being used for the occasion.
The United Nations says that Tsunami Awareness Day is a great opportunity to increase awareness at all levels of the population since they are often accompanied by natural signs that can be sensed by an alert person.
Feel, See and Hear are the warning signs, especially when you are on or close to the beach.
A tsunami could be approaching when the ground around you is shaking severely because of an earthquake, there is an abnormal withdrawal of the sea or an unusual roaring sound from the ocean. If you experience any of these signs, you need to run to high ground as quickly as possible for safety.
Tsunamis are rare but can be extremely destructive. 58 of them in the last 100 years have claimed more than 260,000 lives or an average 4,600 per disaster, surpassing any natural hazard. The most destructive was the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004, which killed 227,000 people in 14 countries, with Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand hardest hit.
In the past 500 years, there have been at least 10 destructive Tsunamis in the Caribbean, with an estimated number of more than 3,000 fatalities, in countries like Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Us Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St Croix and St Thomas. Seismic experts say that the Caribbean is expected to experience at least one destructive tsunami per century.
It’s important that people are aware of the Feel, See and Hear signs and take the appropriate actions to save their lives.