Alma Parris students attending the Tsunami and Earthquake Awareness Workshop. (Pictures by Ricardo Leacock.)
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TSUNAMIS ARE FOREIGN to this part of the world, but schoolchildren are still being readied in case one of them visits these regional shores.
One of the ways to counter fallout from a tsunami is to know the signs that point to its arrival and students of the Alma Parris Memorial and Alexandra Secondary School got such an insight Monday when a team from the Caribbean Seismic Research Centre visited the schools.
The children were told when a tsunami wave – generated by earthquakes of magnitude six or greater – reaches land it is filled with debris like cars, houses, trees, sand and dirt which takes on the consistency of wet cement, making it impossible to swim.
Clevon Ash (right), education officer of the centre, said on average the Caribbean region experienced a major earthquake every 100 years, which means the Caribbean was long overdue for a major quake which could be accompanied by a tsunami.
With this in mind, members of the centre and the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) are undertaking workshops at nine schools, most of which are close to the sea, to educate students about tsunamis and earthquakes and the measures they should take to save their lives.
Ash asked students how many of them could swim and told the few who raised their hands that they could not outrun a tsunami.
Joy Anne Johnson, programme officer of the Department of Emergency Management said Alma Parris was the first of nine schools to benefit from the tsunami and earthquake awareness workshops being held as part of Tsunami And Earthquake Smart Month.
The students were told to know how far they were away from the coastline, to learn the quickest route to high ground and to have an emergency plan and supplies. (LK)