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You are here: Homepage > Press Room > Press Releases 2019 > C.I. Earthquake Plan Development

Minister for Home Affairs Hon. Tara Rivers Delivering the Opening Remarks

Published 6th February 2019, 11:43am

GRAND CAYMAN (GIS) – On Monday, 4 February 2019, stakeholders from 16 public and private sector agencies attended a workshop to engage in the foundational work required to collaboratively develop a National Earthquake Plan for the Cayman Islands. The initiative is directed at strengthening the knowledge and preparedness of the Caribbean region in the technical area of earthquake readiness and emergency prevention.

Visiting representatives with the Emergency Management Accreditation Programme (EMAP) facilitated the workshop, and provided technical assistance and support to ensure local plans are robust and reflect the accepted best practices and international standards. During the workshop, participants discussed the local risks associated with earthquakes, and the specific operational actions and responsibilities of each agency in relationship to preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.

Minister for Financial Services & Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers, opened the workshop and outlined several areas that Government has been actively working to build resilience and capacity.

She also reminded participants that while earthquakes occur infrequently we still have to prepare. “For those of you that were here for the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred a few months after Hurricane Ivan (14 December 2004), you will remember that strange feeling when the ground started shaking beneath your feet. Some of you may even have heard a roaring sound. It was certainly a disconcerting, surreal and uncomfortable experience. These things don’t happen very often and that is precisely why they are so challenging, but we know from experience that having a robust plan that all stakeholders are aware of and confident in, significantly helps in the aftermath of any hazard.”

The results of the workshop will establish the next steps forward to enhance readiness for earthquakes, promote knowledge and awareness of resilience and ensure a multi-agency response plan is in place for the Cayman Islands.

Minister Rivers added: “I am confident that with the knowledge, skills and experience of our stakeholders involved, as well as with guidance from EMAP experts, this country will have a well-established plan which enables us to react and respond appropriately to save lives and property.”

The event was hosted by HMCI and made possible by the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO).