General Outline of the Exercise

For the CARIBE WAVE 2021 Exercise, two scenarios have been proposed for the participants the Jamaica Scenario and the Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario.  The first scenario will simulate a tsunami generated by an 8.4 Mw earthquake located East of Jamaica. The second scenario simulates a tsunami generated by an 8.5 Mw earthquake located 387 km E-NE of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The participants may choose the scenario they want to participate in according to the needs of their region or agency. The Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Region (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and British Virgi Islands) will use the Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario as agreed with the PRSN. The participant guides are the basic tools for participation in the CARIBE WAVE 2021 Exercise.

For this CARIBE WAVE 2021 exercise, the scenario is based on earthquakes and tsunamis that occurred in Northern Lesser Antilles. For the purposes of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Region, an earthquake with an epicenter in the Lesser Antilles is considered a regional earthquake.  The earthquake scenario used for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, based on this exercise, is as follows:

 

Origin Time14:00:00 UTC March 11, 2021
Latitude18.97º N
Longitude62.49º W
Magnitude8.5 – Mw
Depth25 km

In a real situation, for an event like this one, a tsunami warning/advisory/watch, could last many more hours than the those proposed in this exercise.  This exercise has been adapted to be concluded in a compressed time.

Earthquake Scenario

For this CARIBE WAVE 2021 exercise, the scenario is based on the observations related to a tsunami generated by a magnitude 8.5 earthquake located North of Anguilla in the Lesser Antilles.  For Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Region, an earthquake with an epicenter at 387 km N-NE of San Juan, Puerto Rico is considered a regional earthquake.

The earthquake scenario used for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, based on this exercise, is as follows:

Earthquake:    Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario

Origin Time:     March 11, 2021, 14:00 UTC (10:00 AM Puerto Rico Local Time)

Hypocenter:    Latitude: 18.97°N and Longitude: 62.49°W

Depth:             25 km

Magnitude:     8.5-Mw

Location:         North of Anguilla

 

For the Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario, a seismic source rupture from an 8.5 magnitude earthquake was used.

The ShakeMap and the Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER), of the US Geological Survey, for the Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario are available in the IOC Participant Handbook.

The Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Region participants will use the Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario as agreed with the PRSN and should refer to the CARIBE WAVE 2021 PRSN Web page, and the products emitted by PRSN and PTWC for the region.

CARIBE WAVE helps prove that the evacuation plan for a tsunami in your town is a viable one and covers all the necessities during and after an emergency.

The TsunamiReady program was created by the NWS-NOAA to help communities be better prepared to save lives and reduce the damage caused by the occurrence of a tsunami.

Tsunami Scenario

For this CARIBE WAVE 2021 exercise, the scenario is based on the observations related to a tsunami generated by a magnitude 8.5 earthquake located North of Anguilla in the Lesser Antilles.  For Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Region, an earthquake with an epicenter at 387 km N-NE of San Juan, Puerto Rico is considered a regional earthquake.

The tsunami scenario used for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, based on this exercise, is as follows:

 

A tsunami generated by an earthquake of magnitude 8.4 Mw with an epicenter in the latitude 18.97° N and longitude 62.49° W), at 10:00 am (Puerto Rico Local Time) on March 11, 2021.

 

Participants of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands should refer to the information on this webpage based on the PTWC domestic products and the CARIBE WAVE 2021 PRSN Response Guidebook for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Region.  The initial alert is disseminated at 10:07 AM (local time in Puerto Rico) as indicated in Table 1, Exercise Timetable for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for the Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario.

 

The initial dummy messages will be disseminated over all their standard broadcast channels.  The dummy messages are issued to test communications with Tsunami Warning Focal Points and National Tsunami Warning Centers and to start the CARIBE WAVE 2021 exercise.  All messages will be sent to the recipients on the PRSN official service list used to transmit real messages in real-time.

 

The Participant Official Handbook prepared by the IOC (ICG/CARIBE-EWS) contains the information for international participants of all Caribbean countries.  These products are information of the earthquake and tsunami scenarios, timetables, and international products issued by the PTWC for this exercise.

Exercise Time Table

Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario

 

The tsunami occurs on March 11, 2021, at 14:00 UTC and is generated by an earthquake of magnitude 8.5 Mw with an epicenter located at latitude 18.97 ºN and longitude 62.49 ºW, North of Anguilla in the Lesser Antilles.  This regional earthquake is located 387 km N-NE of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Dummy will be issued at 14:00 UTC and the initial alert level will be issued at 14:07 UTC, as established in the PTWC Domestic Products for the exercise.

Date (UTC)Time (UTC)Local Time
PTWC Message
#Type
DummyEmail
03/11/202114:0010:00 am
Earthquake Occurs
03/11/202114:0710:7 am01WarningYesYes
03/11/202114:1510:15 am02WarningNoYes
03/11/202114:2510:20 am03WarningNoYes
03/11/202114:4510:45 am04WarningNoYes
03/11/202115:0011:00 am05WarningNoYes
03/11/202116:0012:00 pm06WarningNoYes
03/11/202117:001:00 pm07WarningNoYes
03/11/202118:002:00 pm08WarningNoYes
03/11/202119:003:00 pm09AdvisoryNoYes
03/11/202120:004:00 pm10AdvisoryNoYes
03/11/202121:005:00 pm11AdvisoryNoYes
03/11/202122:006:00 pm12AdvisoryNoYes
03/11/202123:007:00 pm13CancellationNoYes

Exercise Purpose

The purpose of the exercise is to improve tsunami warning system effectiveness in the Caribbean and adjacent regions. The exercise provides an opportunity for emergency management organizations throughout the region to exercise their operational lines of communications, review their tsunami response procedures, and promote tsunami preparedness. Regular exercising of response plans is critical to maintaining readiness for an emergency. This is particularly true for the Caribbean and adjacent regions, where tsunamis are infrequent but can be of very high impact. Every Emergency Management Organization (EMO) is encouraged to participate.

Exercise Objectives

Each organization can develop its objectives for the exercise depending on its level of involvement in the scenario. The following are the exercise’s overarching objectives.

 

  1. To exercise and evaluate operations of the CARIBE EWS Tsunami Warning System.
  2. Exercise and evaluate communications between Regional Tsunami Service Provider and Members States/Territories.
    1. Validate the issuance of tsunami products from the PTWC.
    2. Validate the receipt of tsunami products by CARIBE-EWS Tsunami Warning Focal Points (TWFPs) and/or National Tsunami Warning Centres (NTWCs).
  3. Evaluate the tsunami procedures and programs within Members States/Territories.
    1. Validate readiness to respond to a tsunami.
    2. Validate the operational readiness of the TWFPs/NTWCs and/or the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).
    3. Improve operational readiness. Before the exercise, ensure appropriate tools and response plan(s) have been developed, including public education materials.
    4. Validate that the dissemination of warnings and information/advice by TWFPs and NTWCs, to relevant in-country agencies and the public is accurate and timely.
    5. Evaluate the status of the implementation of the pilot CARIBE-EWS Tsunami Ready recognition program.

Types of Exercises

Exercises stimulate the development, training, testing, and evaluation of disaster plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Most countries in the region have participated in SOP workshops and should use the materials and expertise acquired to help guide exercise preparation and conduct. Exercise participants are encouraged to use their own past multihazard drills (e.g., flood, hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, etc.) as a framework to conduct Exercise Caribe Wave 2021. Annex I of the IOC Participant Manual gives an overview of SOPs, while Annex II provides a summary of the recently updated CARIBE-EWS Multi-Annual Community Tsunami Exercise Programme Guidelines (IOC/2020/MG/86).  This document highlights four types of exercises, each of which will be more or less suitable depending on the objectives that have been set, the time available, funding levels, and how much the participants know on how to react to instructional warnings.

Exercises can be conducted at various scales of magnitude and sophistication.  The following are examples of types of exercises conducted by EMOs:

  1. Drill:

Drill exercises focus on detailed arrangements for testing specific operations or functions in a single organization, facility, or agency such as a hotel, school, village, etc. Drills are used to test the response time with regards to a specific activity, train personnel, assess the capabilities of the equipment, assess the cooperation between agencies, and determine whether the capabilities of the resources and personnel staffing are sufficient. An example of a drill exercise would be activating an Emergency Operations Centre or using alternative communications (such as radios) in a tsunami exercise.

 

  1. Tabletop Exercise:

Tabletop exercise may be referred to as a discussion exercise which entails desk-based

activities. This type of exercise is intended to generate discussion of issues related to the state of emergency. Participants are presented with a situation that they are required to discuss and for which they formulate the appropriate response or solution. Tabletop exercises may be used to increase public awareness, validate plans, policies and procedures, and training concepts, and/ or to assess the type of systems needed to guide the prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery from the event that has defined. It can also be used to practice problem solving and coordination of services with or without time pressures.

 

  1. Functional Exercise:

Functional exercise may also be referred to as an ‘operational’ or a ‘tactical’ exercise. This type of exercise is simulated and takes place in an operational environment that requires participants to perform the functions of their roles. These participants interact with the exercise control group who provide prewritten injects and respond to questions and task developing out of the exercise. Functional exercises usually focus on testing plans, policies, and procedures, as well as the multi-agency staff participation involved in the management, direction, command, control, and focusing on the testing of standard operating procedures and internal/external communications between organizations. Functional exercises provide a more realistic simulation of an emergency situation compared to the tabletop exercise.

 

  1. Full-scale Exercise:

A Full-scale exercise may also be referred to as a ‘practical’ or ‘field exercise’. They are usually the biggest, most expensive, most complex, and resource-intensive types of exercises, as the focus may include higher-level response structures, and they can be with one agency or multi-agency (different levels of governments from national to local). These exercises are used to test all aspects of the warning and emergency management systems and processes, such as the practicality and communication methods. An example of a full-scale exercise would be a post-impact tsunami response with volunteers portraying ‘victims’ and the emergency services using real equipment at the scene with coordination between multi-agency personnel and response to the event. Since actual field mobilization and deployment of response personnel are conducted, full-scale exercises are the most costly, time-consuming.

Evacuation drill of a school in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Download the Participants Manual by clicking on the image.

Participants Manual

For the CARIBE WAVE 2021 Exercise, two scenarios have been proposed for the participants the Jamaica Scenario and the Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario.  The first scenario will simulate a tsunami generated by an 8.5 Mw earthquake located East of Jamaica. The second scenario simulates a tsunami generated by an 8.5 Mw earthquake located 387 km E-NE of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The participants may choose the scenario they want to participate in according to the needs of their region or agency. The Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Region (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and British Virgi Islands) will use the Northern Lesser Antilles Scenario as agreed with the PRSN. The participant guides (official manual and guides) are the basic tools for participation in the CARIBE WAVE 2021 Exercise.

 

International participants:

The Official Participants Handbook for the Exercise prepared by the IOC (ICG/CARIBE-EWS) contains the scenarios with the information of earthquakes and tsunamis, the chronologic tables, and the international messages emitted by the PTWC for the exercise.

  • Participant Handbook, EXERCISE CARIBE WAVE 21 A Caribbean and Adjacent Regions Tsunami Warning Exercise 11 March 2021 (Jamaica and Northern Lesser Antilles Scenarios) Volumen 1. IOC – UNESCO (English only)

 

Puerto Rico and Virgin Island Participants:

The Response Guide of the RSPR for the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Region contains all the messages for the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Region emitted by the RSPR based on the domestic products emitted by the PTWC for our region (Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Island and the British Virgin Islands).  This guide contains the information presented on the official PRSN Communications Exercise webpage: www.caribewave.uprm.edu.

  • Guía de Respuesta de la Red Sísmica de Puerto Rico para la Región de Puerto Rico e Islas Vírgenes EJERCICIO CARIBE WAVE 2021

 

Presentations (Webinars)

PRSN Presentations

The PRSN Presentations will be added soon.

CTWP Presentations

First Series of Webinars

English-January 26, 2021 – Download Presentation

Español-January 27, 2021 – Download Presentation

Français-January 28, 2021 – Download Presentation

 

Second Series of Webinars

English – February 23, 2021 Presentation

Español – February 24, 2021 Presentation  |   Video

Français – February 27, 2021 Presentation

Download the Levels of Messaging for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Poster by clicking on the image.

Tsunami Alerts

The Tsunami Level Alerts for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were developed by the NTWC and is focused on informing the risk level of a tsunami happening, in this case, in Puerto Rico and/or the Virgin Islands.

The alert levels are divided into 4 color coded categories, each respective to it’s own category.

  • Warning – Red
  • Advisory – Orange
  • Watch – Yellow
  • Information Statement – Green

Warning

Red Alert

Danger!

Run for high ground!

Follow emergency instructions.

Advisory

Orange Alert

Possible strong and dangerous local currents.

Stay tuned for local emergency guidance.

Watch

Yellow Alert

Potential danger.

Stayed tuned for more information.

Information Statement

Green Alert

No Warning, Advisory or Watch issued.

A distant ocean basin may be in danger.

Source:

UNESCO/IOC. 2020. Exercise Caribe Wave 21. Tsunami Warning Exercise, 11 March 2021 (Jamaica and Northern Lesser Antilles). Volume 1: Participant Handbook. Paris, UNESCO, IOC Technical Series No 157, Vol.1. (English only).