Tsunami Warning Exercise To Be Held This Week

March 23, 2015

Bermuda will participate in an Atlantic tsunami warning exercise on Wednesday [March 25] in conjunction with other countries within the Atlantic and Caribbean region, the Bermuda Weather Service said.

A statement from the BWS said, “The 2015 exercise will simulate an undersea earthquake which triggers an undersea landslide a couple of hundred miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, USA.

“The resulting exercise tsunami wave will affect Bermuda, the eastern coast of USA and Canada as well as other jurisdictions in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Exercises are also planned for the Gulf of Mexico, to be carried out on the same day for another seismic event scenario.

“This proposed exercise is a very realistic one – 86 years ago the same set-up resulted in a tsunami for Bermuda in 1929 with a point of origin off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Canada. Bermuda has changed considerably since then, and waterfront properties, shipping industry, ocean activities [beach or mariners] and moored vessels have all come into existence or increased considerably.

“Many people are surprised to hear that Bermuda has in fact experienced a tsunami. Any coastline is at risk of tsunami impact and there is much confusion on this topic locally.

“The low frequency of these events is disarming, but the potentially devastating effects warrant at least a basic action plan that involves knowing factual tsunami basics for our area, the signs that a tsunami may be approaching, where to go for current information [weather.bm and “like” BWS- Bermuda Weather Service on Facebook for quick social media notifications] and what to do in a Tsunami Watch or Warning situation [including knowing the defined differences between a watch and a warning].

“Residents should not be alarmed to note the Exercise Watches & Warnings posted via the Bermuda Weather Channel on CableVision and WOW, the weather telephone recordings [977, 9771, 9772 and 9773], weather.bm, BWS Facebook page or broadcast via VHF Radio [via Bermuda Radio].

“Residents and local agencies should however, note the relevant information contained within the exercise warnings and take the opportunity to think about their state of readiness and actions, should such an actual event occur, as this exercise offers the opportunity to exercise their communications procedures.

“There will be various levels of participation in this exercise throughout the community. The Bermuda Weather Service [operated by BAS-Serco Ltd. on behalf of the Government of Bermuda Department of Airport Operations] will fully respond to the exercise to test the communication of information and dissemination of watches and warnings. RCC Bermuda/ Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre is also participating in LANTEX in a limited operational capacity and an EMO discussion will take place during the time of the exercise.

“The exercise is sponsored by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] and by the U.S. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. If any real tsunami threat occurs during the time period of the exercise, the exercise will be terminated.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. fred says:

    The plan to use these media sources as a warning system for Bermuda is useless… how many individuals will be alerted via these mediums if an actual tsunami occurs?

    If Bermuda wants to get in tune with the rest of the world, the government should implement a requirement that all TV, cable and radio stations simultaneously broadcast an emergency alert tone followed by an announcement. This is how other countries do it.

    What we have here is a failure to communicate…

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Nothing like letting all of the services, which would need to jump into action without notice if it were the real thing, being told well in advance for a drill.

    Gibbs hill will be a crowded place.