DDM: New sensors improve tsunami warnings

November 22, 2013
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The seismic monitoring network in the Virgin Islands has received another boost with the installation of sensors to measure the change of sea level in the territory, according to the Department of Disaster Management.

Two scientific instrument specialists from the Puerto Rico Strong Motion Programme visited last week to undertake the installation work at the territory’s tide gauge, which is located near the BVI Fisheries Complex in Baughers Bay.

Juan Lugo Toro explained that the tide gauge is part of a larger system throughout the Caribbean.

“It is part of a network of about seven tide gauges around the Caribbean, which work together with the seismic stations to generate alerts if an earthquake occurs,� he said.

Christopher Williams, a technical planning officer in the DDM, explained that the new sensors serve two purposes: to help the territory’s tsunami warning system; and to observe sea level rise and other long-term changes in the coastline.

In addition to the improved monitoring, the department has also been working on tsunami evacuation maps, which will be launched “shortly,� according to DDM.

“The BVI as you are aware is located in an active seismic zone, which makes us vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis,� DDM Director Sharleen DaBreo said. “The department is cognisant of this vulnerability and we have been taking steps to improve our readiness.�

Article source: http://www.bvibeacon.com/2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4237:ddm-new-sensors-improve-tsunami-warnings&catid=826:local-news-nov-21-2013

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