The territory’s Multi Hazard Early Warning System is getting rehabilitated and upgraded, according to Government Information Services.
Government initially spent about $500,000 in late 2017 to reestablish critical parts of the system, including purchasing six sirens, 18 weather stations, five seismic units, five encoders and 100 smart radios, which were installed at all of the territory’s schools, GIS reported.
Now, government is funneling another $900,000 — via the Caribbean Development Bank’s “Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Loan” — towards a network upgrade and coverage expansion for the system.
The Ministry of Finance has already secured most of the equipment for the upgrade, including five additional weather stations; a range of emergency telecommunications equipment; 250 radio data systems receivers; AM and FM transmitters; amateur radio equipment; satellite communications units; an additional nine sirens; five strong motion sensors to record seismic activity; two tidal gauges; and emergency broadcast units to connect all of the territory’s radio stations, according to Dr. Drexel Glasgow, the ministry’s director of projects.
The tidal gauges will be installed at Gun Creek on Virgin Gorda and Cane Garden Bay, Dr. Glasgow added.
“We understand the extent of the work that is needed to monitor the various types of hazards that can affect us but more importantly we are aware that we have a responsibility to be able to provide immediate warning and notification to our people no matter where they are living throughout the territory,” the director said in a press release.
At the end of the project, the Department of Disaster Management will have installed about 400 sites with some form of Early Warning System communication equipment, equipping the network to reach beyond the territory’s four main islands, according to GIS.
DDM is constructing the new network using guidelines established by the World Meteorological Organization’s Disaster Risk Reduction Services Division, GIS reported.