Friday, July 8 – Two technical interns from the University of
Portsmouth, England are in the Territory for five weeks working along with the
Department of Disaster Management.
Messers Stephen Mountford and Scott Turnbull will
spend their time here in the Virgin Islands assessing and mapping variations in
social vulnerability in Road Town and undertaking flood hazard mapping, evacuation
and mitigation planning of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and Anegada.
Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM),
Ms. Sharleen DaBreo said, “We are pleased to be able to accommodate these
interns who will be able to provide us with detailed structural information on social
vulnerability aspects as well as the vulnerabilities of buildings susceptible
to floods, tsunamis and storm surge. The
work of the interns will assist us in further updating the National GIS
database to allow for greater accuracy in decision making during hazard impacts
and in development and planning.”
Mountford, a Geography student at the University of Portsmouth is focusing his
research on highlighting the most socially vulnerable areas in the VI which
will be used to assist the DDM in focusing their disaster mitigation efforts on
the areas which need it most.
who has earned a Bachelor
of Science degree in Geological Hazards will be concentrating on the flood
hazard mapping, evacuation and mitigation planning aspects. His final project
will consist of detailed maps of the hazardous areas that may flood during a
time of intense rainfall showing areas of high, medium to low vulnerable areas.
Both students are currently pursuing post graduate degrees in Crisis and
Disaster Management. This is the second year that the DDM has hosted students
from the University of Portsmouth.
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 the VI will be presented to the
department at the end of the internship.
The internships are self-funded and all data collected
will be presented to the Government in a format suitable for future use.