Scientists and experts from different countries and European Union and UN representatives called for measures bolster the mitigation of natural disasters in the Caribbean, especially in places like Haiti, still reeling from the powerful quake of 2010.
The experts, when opening the meeting “Experiences and Challenges to Reduce Seismic Risk in the Caribbean” stressed the impact and “terrible threat” of seismic risk in the area which would also be addressed from the human component. In the gathering hosted by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Dept (ECHO), European Union (EU) representative Irene Horejs n that the noted that the Caribbean, where “nature is both seductive and dangerous, combines features that make it very vulnerable” to natural disasters.
She said however that the nature and geology are only part of the phenomenon. “Perhaps more complex than the others is the human component, but can be identified and worked. They have to do with the population density and location, building codes, warning systems, research and forecasting, preparation and training of people, with communities of experts, officials, of government, and resilience, planning and prevention,” she said.
Although Horejs acknowledges the efforts made in the area of disaster mitigation, she admits that “much remains to be done. No one who has lived near or far from the disaster which was the Haiti earthquake in 2010 needs to be convinced of the terrible threat that represents a high level of seismic risk in an area such as the Caribbean.”