The Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE-EWS) was established in 2005, and is currently comprised of 32 Member States and 16 Territories.  ICG/CARIBE-EWS is a subsidiary body of the International Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO/IOC that coordinates international tsunami warning and mitigation activities, including the issuance of timely and understandable tsunami bulletins in the Caribbean and adjacent regions.

The key functions of the ICG/CARIBE-EWS are:

  1. To coordinate the activities of the ICG/CARIBE-EWS;
  2. To organize and facilitate as appropriate the exchange of seismic, sea level and other data at or near real-time and information required for the interoperability of the tsunami and other coastal hazards system;
  3. To promote the sharing of experiences and expertise related to tsunami warning and mitigation for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions Basin;
  4. To promote tsunami and other coastal hazards research;
  5. To promote the establishment and further development of national tsunami and other coastal hazards warning and mitigation capacities in accordance with standard protocols and methods;
  6. To develop, adopt and monitor the implementation of work plans of the tsunami and other coastal hazards warning system in the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions, and to identify required resources;
  7. To promote the implementation of relevant capacity-building;
  8. To liaise and coordinate with other tsunami and other coastal hazards warning systems;
  9. To liaise with other relevant organizations, programmes and projects;
  10. To promote the implementation of the ICG within a multi-hazard framework; and
  11. To keep under constant scrutiny the status of the system and how it satisfies the needs.

In recent years, there has been considerable population growth and an influx of tourists along the Caribbean and western Atlantic coasts increasing the tsunami vulnerability of the region. With nearly 160 million people (Caribbean, Central America and Northern South America) now living in this region and a major earthquake occurring about every 50 years, the question is not if another major tsunami will happen but when it happens, will the region be prepared for the tsunami impact. It is acknowledged that the potential for human and economic loss is severe. On any day, it is estimated that about 500,000 people could be in harm’s way just along the beaches with hundreds of thousands more working and living in the tsunami hazard zones.  The risks of major earthquakes in the Caribbean and adjacent regions, and the possibility of a resulting tsunami, are real and should be taken seriously, hence why the work of the ICG/CARIBE EWS is so critical.

The Intergovernmental Coordination Group meets regularly to establish and implement working plans in the Caribbean region. To address specific technical issues it has formed four Working Groups:

Working Group 1 - Monitoring and Detection Systems, Warning Guidance

Working Group 2 - Hazard Assessment

Working Group 3 - Tsunami Related Services

Working Group 4 - Preparedness, Readiness and Resilience

Task Teams are also established to support the functions of the Working Groups by carrying out specific responsibilities and producing defined outcomes.

For more information on the tenth anniversary of the ICG/CARIBE EWS.

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10th ICG/CARIBE EWS Meeting Op…

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – For the next three days starting on Tuesday, 19th of May until 21st of May, Sint Maarten is hosting the 10th Session...

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