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News / Virgin Islands / March 11, 2016

ST. THOMAS — American Signal Corp (A.S.C.), the company that manufactured the territory’s tsunami warning sirens, will evaluate and make adjustments to each of the V.I.’s 22 sirens ahead of the March 17, tsunami response exercise, a press release the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (V.I.T.E.M.A.) issued on Wednesday makes known.

The release says A.S.C. technicians will evaluate sirens, individually, in the St. Thomas-St. John district, from Friday, March 11, to Sunday, March 13, and in the St. Croix district, from Monday, March 14, to Wednesday, March 16. As part of the evaluation, the technicians will broadcast a live voice message as well as a pre-recorded ‘Test’ message.

“ACS is addressing concerns that we received following the previous activation of the siren system,” V.I.T.E.M.A. Director Mona Barnes said. “Residents, in both districts, reported that it was difficult to understand the pre-recorded messages and some suggested that the audio may not be loud enough.  ASC is on the ground to tackle those issues as well as to conduct other routine maintenance.”

Tsunami sirens are located at:

St. Thomas: Cyril E. King Airport, Crown Bay, Addelita Cancryn School, Griffith Park,Magen’s Bay Beach, Mandela Circle, Long Bay, Enid Baa Library, Coki Point Beach,Frydenhoj, Red Hook.

St. Croix: Cramer’s Park; Divi Carina Bay; DC Canegata Ball Park; Government Parking Lot— Christiansted; Estate Sion Farm; William’s Delight; La Vallee; Government Parking Lot— Frederiksted; Fisher Street—Frederiksted; Sprat Hall—Frederiksted.

St. John:  Winston Wells Park, Cruz Bay; Guy Benjamin School at Coral Bay.

According to the release, the sirens are being adjusted just ahead of the territory’s participation in CARIBE WAVE 16, a Caribbean region tsunami response exercise, set for Thursday, March 17.

CARIBE WAVE 16 will simulate an 8.5 magnitude earthquake off the Caribbean coast of Venezuela that generates a tsunami. This event will trigger widespread Tsunami Warning and Watch situation throughout the Caribbean which requires implementation of local tsunami response plans.

As part of the regional exercise, V.I.T.E.M.A.’s 911 Emergency Communications Centers will simultaneously activate the 22 sirens at approximately 10:15 a.m.  Anyone standing outdoors and within a mile of a siren may hear the alert tone and voice message.

The Legislature of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, and the Department of Education (D.O.E.) will conduct evacuation drills as part of exercise. The D.O.E. will hold evacuation drills at Ulla Muller Elementary School on St. Thomas, Juanita Gardine Elementary School on St. Croix and Julius Sprauve School on St. John, according to the release.

Feature Image: Tsunami warning siren in Sion Farm, St. Croix.

Image Credit: VIC.

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