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Scientists warn it is a matter of "when, not if" a tsunami will strike the Caribbean, the UNESCO official said
A leading expert at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is urging the Caribbean’s 40 million people to be prepared for a tsunami, two years ahead of a planned early warning system for the region.
Wendy Watson-Wright, assistant director-general and executive secretary of the UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, said the Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System, coordinated through UNESCO-IOC, saved lives in that region following an 8.6 magnitude earthquake off northern Indonesia.
“Largely due to education programmes, Indonesians living in coastal communities were able to mobilize and safely move to higher ground. As soon as the threat of a tsunami had passed, the all clear was sounded,” Watson-Wright said in a statement here.
Despite the withdrawal of the United States from UN body which threatened to delay the introduction of an early warning system for the Caribbean, “emergency funds” were diverted to the project which is expected to be ready by 2014.