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Home Plan & Prepare Tsunamis
Plan & Prepare Tsunamis
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The U.S. Virgin Islands, along with the rest of the Caribbean, is considered a region with high levels of vulnerability and threat for tsunamis. Tsunamis are enormous waves caused by an underground disturbance such as an earthquake. They can move hundreds of miles per hour, and hit land with waves topping 100 feet in height.

Since 1842 at more than 3,500 people have lost their lives to tsunamis in the Caribbean. In recent years, there has been an explosive population growth and influx of tourists along the Caribbean coasts increasing the tsunami vulnerability of the region. Other events, such as the earthquakes and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean (2004), Samoa (2009, Haiti and Chile (2010) and Japan (2011), attest to the importance of proper planning for tsunami response.

All-Hazards Warning System
As part of VITEMA's continuing efforts to ensure that the Virgin Islands is prepared for any emergency, including tsunamis, special warning sirens are being installed throughout the territory. 
Understanding the difference between the terms that identify a tsunami hazard: advisory, watch and warning. For a detailed explanation of these terms, see
Plan to act quickly.
If you are in coastal waters and notice a dramatic recession of water from the shoreline you should heed nature's warning that a tsunami is approaching.
Move inland immediately and do not return to the flooded and damaged areas until officials say it is safe to do so.
Visit NOAA Watch for more weather-related information.

9th Annual UNESCO Conference.

UNESCO Tsunami Ready Recognition Ceremony.

Governor de Jongh and VITEMA Director Lewis Unveil V.I. Tsunami Evacuation Maps

Governor John P. de Jongh Jr. and VITEMA Director Elton Lewis, at a press conference on December 4, 2013, unveiled the first-ever US Virgin Islands Tsunami Evacuation Maps for the islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, hailing a milestone that significantly advances the Virgin Islands Tsunami Readiness Program. 

Read the full release

VITEMA Director Lewis, Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade , Governor de Jongh, FEMA Region II Caribbean Area Division Director Alejandro de La Campa, Interim Director of the Puerto Rico Seismic Network Victor Huerfano, and retired UVI Professor of Physics Roy Watlington.
Tsunami Evacuation Maps
Click on an island below to view or download the evacuation maps.

St. Croix  |  St. John  |  St. Thomas

STAY Informed

Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.