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Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (R3i) Coastal Hazard Analysis Seminar

Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (R3i) Coastal Hazard Analysis Seminar

July 27, 2011495Views

Wednesday 27th July: Yesterday, employees from various Government and
Statutory agencies attended a one day Coastal Hazard Analysis Seminar at Moorings
Marina Inn.

 

The
presentation and discussions at this seminar examined the potential risks and
exposure to the impact of tsunamis and storm surge on populated areas in the
Virgin Islands which included Road Town, Spanish Town, Great Harbour, and The
Settlement.  

 

This
seminar is part of the Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (R3i) Project which will
support disaster management and GIS departments with modeling, simulation and
planning through the intra-regional learning and sharing of tools,  knowledge and best practices to enhance the Dutch
and English Speaking Overseas Territories’ individual and collective
capacities.

 

The Coastal
Hazard Analysis component of the R3i Project aims
to undertake a hydrodynamic model of the potential impact of tsunamis and storm
surge in the Virgin Islands. Earlier this year, UNDP awarded a contract to
Smith Warner International, who is a regional specialist coastal
environmental engineering firm with offices in Jamaica, St Lucia and Barbados and Deltares a leading
independent consultancy research institute based in the Netherlands, with over
80 years of consulting experiencing in water and coastal related issues. The consultants spent two weeks in the Territory in
May conducting a number of interviews with persons from agencies relevant to
the planning process in order to collect baseline information needed as part of
the initial Phase of the project.

 

At
the seminar held yesterday Dr. David Smith of Smith Warner
International presented his Inception Report which included the Data Collection Program, Model Selection and the development
of Model Grids and proposed Model Scenarios for storm surge and tsunamis.  In his
presentation Smith said, “The way forward looks promising.  We have plans to be back in the Territory
within the next two months to commence phases II and III simultaneously which
involves data collection of water depths around the Virgin Islands and the
setting up of a sophisticated computer modeling system that will do simulations
and predictions of storm surge and tsunami limits for the islands.”

 

Coming
out of these discussions were recommendations to improve the Inception Phase
and decisions on how to proceed with the Data Collection and Modeling
Development Phases. 

 

The
session was facilitated by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in collaboration
with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the R3i Project. R3i is funded
by the European Commission who allotted €4.932M,
covering a period of 3 years from 2009 to 2011.