Caribbean Commemoration of the World Tsunami Awareness Day

Trinidad and Tobago
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean

Headquarters of the ACS Secretariat


The Caribbean region is vulnerable to destructive tsunamis generated by shallow earthquakes; 3.000 people have been killed by these events over the past 500 years. Based on historical evidence, the Caribbean is expected to experience approximately one destructive tsunami every fifty years.

Within this context and for the first time, the World Tsunami Awareness Day (WTAD) will be commemorated in order to raise awareness on the importance of tsunami preparedness. The focus of the WTAD 2016 is on effective education and evacuation drills. Although Tsunamis do not occur very frequently, they can cause huge disasters; as did the 2004 Indian Ocean which affected 14 different countries and resulted in more than 227.000 casualties.

What's Included

The Caribbean World Tsunami Awareness Day event will be organized in the afternoon of 20 October 2016 back-to-back to the Special Committee Meeting of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Transport of the Association of Caribbean States which will take place on 21 October 2016 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The organization team is composed by UNISDR, UNESCO/IOC, the ACS as well as CDEMA with the support by CEPREDENAC.

As a unique event, the Caribbean WTAD will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the inherent links between disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. It also will be the occasion to enforce awareness related to tsunami risk in the region and to define regional and national activities for the observation of upcoming World Tsunami Awareness Days (2017-2022) in the Caribbean.

Intended Audience

Participants are comprised of representatives from ACS member states and the Government of Japan; regional and United Nations organizations; Intergovernmental Organizations such as ACS, CDEMA and CEPREDENAC; representatives from the University of the West Indies. These stakeholders will work together to identify activities for upcoming WTADs in the Caribbean region – opportunities at regional, national and local level. 


Regional level:

  • June Soomer, Secretary General, Association of the Caribbean States (ACS)
  • Ronald Jackson, Executive Secretary, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)
  • Noel Barillas, Advisor, Executive Secretariat of the Specialized Institution of the Central American Integration System for Natural Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Response (CEPREDENAC)

National level:

  • Stephen Ramroop, Director, Office for Disaster Preparedness and Management, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Mitsuhiko Okada, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 
  • Richard Blewitt, Resident Coordinator, United Nations in Trinidad and Tobago


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