(Back Row: L - R) NWS Tsunami Program Manager Jane Hollingsworth; CTWP Manager Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade; Shana Kay Clarke and Maria Armantrading, Anguilla Dept. of Disaster Management; and Representative Othlyn Vanterpool. (Front Row: L - R) DDM Director Melissa Meade; Damian Barker and Susan Hodge, DDM; Governor Alistair Harris; and NWS Southern Region Director Bill Proenza. (Photo: Anguilla Dept. of Disaster Management)
(Dec. 19, 2011) - Officials from the National Weather Service have recognized the British Territory of Anguilla as the first international TsunamiReady® community. In an official ceremony on December 12, the governor of Anguilla accepted a special recognition letter and TsunamiReady® signs.
One of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles chain, Anguilla is located east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. A British territory since 1980, Anguilla's population is slightly above 15,000.
To earn TsunamiReady® recognition, Anguilla established a 24-hour emergency operations center, developed multiple ways to receive tsunami warnings and alert the public, developed a formal tsunami hazard plan, conducted emergency exercises and promoted public readiness through community education.
"This recognition marks another significant milestone in our continuing tsunami mitigation efforts in the Caribbean and western Atlantic Basins," said Bill Proenza, regional director of the National Weather Service Southern Region. "I congratulate the governor, Anguilla's Department of Emergency Management and all the citizens of Anguilla on becoming the first international TsunamiReady® community."
"While no community can be tsunami proof, Anguilla now has the tools necessary to minimize the loss of life when a tsunami strikes," said Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, manager of the National Weather Service Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program.
Following the Anguilla event, Proenza also presided over another TsunamiReady® ceremony in Puerto Rico. The municipality of Toa Baja was recognized as the island's 19th TsunamiReady® community.
In addition to Anguilla, nearly 100 communities have taken the necessary steps to become TsunamiReady® in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.