TODAY’S EDITORIAL: Warning plan sensible

The Caribbean reaction to the catastrophe in southern Asia is timely and necessary.

Caribbean agencies have pulled together to begin making plans for a early tsunami warning system for this region.

The Caribbean knows about natural disasters. The region is already extremely hurricane-prone; proven most recently by the passage of four large storms in the area. Closer to home was Hurricane Ivan, which temporarily crippled the Cayman Islands in September.

Plans are already being crafted in the Cayman Islands to come up with a good, workable hurricane disaster plan.

So it is only right that a disaster plan be put into place for the entire region concerning earthquakes.

Earthquakes have become almost common in the past few months throughout the region. One of the largest hit Grand Cayman earlier this month, but thankfully there was little damage outside of reported sink holes.

Those Caribbean agencies undertaking the formulation of a tsunami plan must take a good hard look and determine whether the geology of the region makes the islands vulnerable.

While the agencies craft a plan, it is incumbent on the public and private sectors in all the islands to become educated about what to do in the case of a massive earthquake and possible tsunami.

The chances of a tsunami devastating the Caribbean are slim, according to the experts.

But as in all matters of life, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Grand Cayman learned that lesson during Hurricane Ivan.

In-place strategies by both the public and private sector and strong building codes helped the Cayman Islands survive the ravages of Hurricane Ivan. Many other countries with more inferior infrastructures – like Granada – received much more damage.

The Cayman Islands have been able to rebound, especially in its two most important sectors – finance and tourism.

Grenada’s tourism market will lag behind for years.

As will the tourism market in southern Asia.

It has been said that had those on beaches in southern Asia been given advanced warning of the tsunami, thousands of lives could have been saved.

It is hoped that an early tsunami warning system in the Caribbean never has to be used. But the region must not be complacent.

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