St. Vincent and the Grenadines gets “Volcano Ready” with new project

St. Vincent and the Grenadines gets “Volcano Ready” with new project
April 12, 2018   Tatjana Muskiet
LA SOUFRIÈRE, St. Vincent and the Grenadines – The University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Center (UWI-SRC), in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), recently launched a project to prepare communities to manage potential impacts of La Soufrière Volcano and related hazards.
The “Volcano-Ready Communities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines” project targets 12 towns and villages in the high-risk zones of La Soufrière. It specifically seeks to improve early warning and alert systems; train early response and risk assessment teams; develop a “Volcano-Ready” framework and toolkit for communities; and create public education and awareness materials to be shared with schools, businesses, and residents. “We want to ensure that people here can live safely and resiliently and enjoy their lives, so that when bad things happen because of the environment that [they] won’t be knocked back as badly,” said Dr. Richard Robertson, Director of UWI-SRC.
He further explained, “When we speak about ‘Volcano-Ready communities’ we’re speaking about it in the context of a volcanic environment. Yes, the volcano erupts from time to time, but the very nature of the volcanic landscape is such that it poses certain hazards. For example, all of the loose material around is great for crops and farming, but it means that when rain comes, it strips off the materials and creates flash floods. When you have a storm, because the land falls away so quickly, storm surge comes in and damages the coastline. So, you’re really in a multi-hazard environment.” Following successful completion of the project, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be the first country in the Region to hold a “Volcano-Ready” designation.(CDB)…[+]