The 6.4 magnitude earthquake which jolted residents several weeks ago could have resulted in a tsunami and Montserrat does not have a plan for dealing with this.
According to Head of the Governor’s Office Tony Bates, a few days before the March 19th earthquake, the island had participated in a region-wide table top exercise on managing a tsunami.
“If there had been a tsunami generated by the earthquake, we would have only had 30 minutes notice,” Bates told the press.
Fortunately for Montserrat the topography is of such that the island has very few low lying areas. However, a tsunami could still do damage because of the force at which the water flows in through such an event, explained the official.
As an outcome of the exercise, the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) has been instructed to develop a tsunami plan for the island.
The current warning system of the sirens placed across the island, would be the primary means of communicating that a tsunami threat was imminent. The sirens are tested daily. However, new warning messages would need to be prepared and ready for airing should an event occur.