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Rainbow Radio League conducts tsunami simulation in Union Island

Rainbow Radio League conducts tsunami simulation in Union Island

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Tue, Dec 4, 2012

While most Vincentians were sleeping during the early morning of November 25, eight radio operators at strategic locations in Union Island were conducted their first ever tsunami simulation exercise.{{more}}

The exercise was a purely communications event and prepared radio operators, among other things, for tasks related to accounting for members of their immediate community in the aftermath of a tsunami.

The event began at 4 a.m. and ran until 7 a.m. The early start was to prepare radio operators to be ready to function at odd times, as disasters can strike at any time, day or night but it is even more difficult to function at night for several reasons.

The scenario was that a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in the Caribbean Sea generated a 30-foot tsunami and residents living on the coast in Union Island are instructed to move to high ground with only 15 minutes to do so. The communities that evacuate to high ground are asked to stay in families. After the tsunami recedes, a head count is made from seven locations at safe elevations where evacuees are gathered and this information is communicated with a command post at the Union Island Health Centre in Clifton. Persons who were unaccounted for initially were “tracked down” and found, while arrangements were made to deliver medication for asthmatic, diabetic and hypertensive outpatients who had to scramble from their homes without medication.

Donald de Riggs, coordinator of the event and director and secretary of the Rainbow Radio League Inc (RRL), said interaction among the radio operators was excellent; they were very focused on the tasks assigned and for a first practical exercise performed admirably. He further said this field exercise was the practical aspect of a ham radio course conducted in Union earlier this year.

On that occasion all 12 participants successfully completed a course in amateur radio and Union Island now has 12 persons licensed to operate amateur radio equipment.

De Riggs also said the simulation exercise was the culmination point for training conducted by the RRL for 2012.

This year the RRL staged Operation X in January, three ham radio courses in January, February, and August and a tsunami simulation in November.

The next ham radio course is scheduled for the third week in January 2013.

Following the simulation exercise the entire group gathered at Nola’s restaurant for a post exercise debrief and breakfast.

Florine Adams, Stanton Gomes, Molica Mulzac, Abigail Hazell, Augustine “Jah Watcher” Douglas, Walter “Sabu” Jones, and Susan Jacobs were the radio operators from Union Island who took part in the exercise.

The RRL said it thanked all the sponsors of the event.

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