July 8, 2010812Views

Wednesday, July 7A technical intern from the University of
Portsmouth, England is in the Territory for five weeks completing tsunami
vulnerability mapping of Road Town.

Mr. Oliver Wright will spend his time here in
the BVI focusing on five specific outputs which will include assessing the
vulnerability of the coastal areas of Road Town to flooding, tsunami and storm
surge; creating a likely scenario for coastal inundation; assessing the vulnerability
of buildings, structures and people within the high-risk zones; creating an
evacuation/mitigation plan for Road Town and documenting all approaches and
methods used in collection of the data.

Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM),
Ms. Sharleen DaBreo said, “We are pleased to be able to accommodate technical
interns such as Mr. Wright who will be able to provide us with detailed
structural information on the vulnerability of buildings against floods, tsunamis
and storm surge and how best to represent that data with an aim to make it
easily available to the public and for use by professionals.”  Ms. DaBreo further said, “This project is
timely and fits well into the overall hazard mapping activities currently being
undertaken by  DDM and its partners.”

The work that Mr. Wright is conducting is based on the
scenario of a 5 – 6 meter high tsunami impacting the coast of Road Town.

Mr. Wright will be concentrating on mapping approximately
twenty (20) buildings per hour and will engage in detailed field assessments. Mr.
Wright  stated, “I will utilize
historical data and current models, topographic and land use data including
digital elevations models, contour maps and mangrove/coral areas to create a
likely scenario for coastal inundation.” 

Another output of Mr. Wright’s work will be to create an
evacuation plan for Road Town including evacuation routes, locations of safe
areas, nearest undamaged critical facilities etc. The final outputs will also
be accessible using Google Earth thereby allowing free access to the community.

A report documenting the findings with approaches and
methods that could be used to provide low-cost and rapid, yet detailed,
effective and accurate assessment for other areas of the BVI will be made presented
to the department at the end of the internship.

Mr. Wright’s internship is self funded and all data
collected will be presented to the Government in a format suitable for future