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The device works by continually monitoring Sea Level

Published 26th March 2014, 5:27am

A sensor for the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program has been installed in George Town Harbour. The sensor was funded through a UNESCO grant and installed by the German company OTT. The company was contracted to install the Cayman tsunami sensor along with 5 other new stations in the Caribbean.

The high precision sensors work by continually monitoring sea level. Data is sent via satellite to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) in Hawaii and other international scientific institutes. If an unusual rise (or fall) in sea level is detected, especially after an earthquake event, scientists analyse the regional data and decide whether a Tsunami warning should be issued to Islands and countries that could potentially be impacted by the tsunami wave.

The Cayman component uses both radar and pressure sensors to measure sea level, and data is also recorded locally and will be used by Department of Environment, Lands and Survey and the National Weather Service for various research projects.

The representative from OTT, Ronan O’Matiu was assisted by staff from Hazard Management Cayman Islands, Lands and Survey, Port Authority and Department of Environment (DOE). Staff from DOE used underwater drilling equipment to secure the sensors to the pier wall in the harbour.

The continuously transmitted sea level data from the sensors will be made available on the Cayman Prepared website. Hazard Management Cayman Islands currently receives emergency messages about tsunamis from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. It is anticipated Cayman will begin to receive messages from the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) in Puerto Rico once the Centre goes fully operational. The installation of the sensors in Cayman will form part of that regional tsunami warning network.

For more information, contact Simon Boxall at Simon.Boxall@gov.ky or call 526-2027