Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

Tsunami test warning creates panic in Bahamas
Published on March 28, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Taneka Thompson
Nassau Guardian Senior Reporter

NASSAU, Bahamas -- A tsunami test warning sent out by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Wednesday created panic in parts of the country after some people thought an actual tidal wave was heading toward The Bahamas.

A test email sent out by NEMA at 12.39 pm said the country was under tsunami watch.

The email, which stated several times that it was a test, added that an 8.5 magnitude earthquake occurred 3,550 miles northeast of The Bahamas.

The email added that a tsunami would arrive in the country at 2:02 pm on Wednesday, hitting Mayaguana first before traveling throughout the country and hitting Bimini last at 3:12 pm.

Scores of people called The Nassau Guardian’s newsroom concerned that the test warning was real and questioned what to do.

False reports of the tsunami also spread over the social media website Facebook.

Captain Stephen Russell, NEMA’s director, said the agency received more than two dozen calls from Eleuthera, Inagua and Mayaguana about the test warning.

He said the test, which was sent to the media, police stations and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company for dissemination to the public, was misunderstood by some people, which caused the panic.

“In disseminating the information, it can be misconstrued or certain parts of the text can be left out in passing the information,” he said.

“You’d expect some degree of panic because parts of the information were left out.”

Russell said the test warning was part of a regional exercise to measure responses to tsunami warnings in light of recent earthquakes in the region.

Russell said because tsunamis move so fast there is little those in warning areas can do except move out low areas.

“In The Bahamas, we are in such a peculiar predicament because we are so flat,” he said.

“If you know the characteristics of a tsunami they can reach waves of 50 feet in height and sometimes they move at a speed of 500 miles per hour.

“Being in a low-lying area we just ask you to try and seek higher grounds, the highest point in a building; that’s all we can ask people to do, because we are in a low-lying area.”

Russell said he was satisfied with the results of the test warning. He said responses started coming in minutes after the alert was issued.

The warning took place in 21 countries to monitor reaction in the event of an actual tsunami.

Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian
Reads: 2904

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.


Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Enter Code

Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g.,,, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Caribbean Writer 2014

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: