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BETHESDA/CHRISTIAN HILL TSUNAMI DRILL
Friday 25th January 2019

Residents of the Bethesda/Christian Hill area will take part in the first ever tsunami drill targeting a community on Saturday, January 26th.

The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) is organizing the exercise which is part of efforts to fully operationalize the national Multi-Hazard Early Warning System, which NODS is working towards bringing on stream this year.

The Bethesda/Christian Hill community is one of the most vulnerable areas to tsunamis in Antigua and Barbuda.

In preparation for the event, officials from NODS have held meetings with residents and various groups in the area and have also been involved in the installation of tsunami educational signs - some of which show the safe areas for Bethesda and Christian Hill.

The January 26 tsunami drill intends to test the community’s ability to move to the established safe zones from wherever they may be. Evaluators from various agencies will also take note of any challenges that may occur, and along with observers, provide assistance where necessary.

NODS is encouraging as many persons in the community to participate. The tsunami drill is expected to be replicated in other communities.

The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) is emphasising the importance of community drills in all aspects of disaster management in Antigua and Barbuda.

Such exercises, according to a release, help to identify the various challenges that may arise especially when evacuating family members with special needs, the elderly and the children.

The objective of the exercise is to test the time it takes residents to move to the designated safe areas.

The office is finalizing preparations for the drill. NODS officials, along with evaluators, had a walk-through in Bethesda on Wednesday.

Within the past five years, the disaster office has held tsunami drills with all the pre-schools and schools in the tsunami impact zone and government offices in vulnerable communities like Point and Villa.


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