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No tsunami threat

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

No tsunami threat

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Don’t panic!
That’s what emergency management expert Judy Thomas is telling Barbados after an earthquake occurred around 5:30 a.m. prompting fears of an accompanying tsunami.
Thomas, director of the Department of Emergency Management, said in a broadcast that there was not a widespread threat of a deluge but a remote possibility of a small tsunami unlikely to have any major impact on the island.
The 6.7 earthquake lasted for approximately 20 seconds.
“We had an earthquake. One of the things is that a tsunami is triggered by an earthquake and we already had the earthquake and the notification we’ve got told us that there is not an immediate threat,” Thomas said.
“We’ve been talking about global earthquakes which give very us very little warning and but by now we should be getting some sign on the coast … And we can’t confirm those signs and I would think that the question of a tsunami is not immediate,” Thomas said in relation to the possibility of the tsunami.
She was also speaking ahead of Tsunami Month which will be observed next month with the mounting of a public education drive.
Thomas also warned that the Seismic Research Unit in Trinidad had been saying that the region was due for a big disaster ever since the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
“We have been looking seriously at our warning system for tsunami and you know that next month is Tsunami Month… We are gearing up for the public awareness thrust … The Caribbean is a seismic active region and there have been small earthquakes and tremors being recorded … It looks as though there is some movement in the region and we need to be more aware of what the threat is and the possible action that Barbadians can take,” she said.
She advised that in a case of aftershocks that people should head for open area where nothing can fall on them and cause serious injury or even death.
Meanwhile, exchange students in Martinique where the earthquake was also felt, are safe.
Nicholas Vaughan, a teacher and head of the Combermere Foreign Language Club reported that the 25 students and chaperones on the trip to Martinique were well.
He said the tremor was felt there around 5:25 a.m. and lasted about 55 seconds. The students from first to sixth form were in bed at the time of the tremor.
“Some people were quite nervous…. It lasted 55 seconds,” Vaughan said.