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HomeEnvironment"Sismik" week: St. Martin located in a high seismicity zone

“Sismik” week: St. Martin located in a high seismicity zone

MARIGOT: Since 2008, as part of the Plan Séisme Antilles (PSA), the DEAL (Direction de l’environnement, de l’aménagement et du logement) of Guadeloupe, in collaboration with the Collectivité de Saint-Martin, organizes every year the “Sismik” week, in order to raise awareness of the general public to the earthquake risk.

According to the organizers of the week “Sismik”, prevention and information allow a population to be more resilient and less sensitive to the risks that surround it. The risk culture is first to know the major risks of its territory, and this knowledge must then be shared by all, so that all  are able to prepare and act accordingly.

The French West Indies are particularly exposed to seismic risk because of their proximity to the subduction zone between the American and Caribbean plates. St. Martin is located in a high seismic zone, and on a scale of 5, the seismic zoning is at 5.

However, the earthquake itself does not kill, it is the collapse of poorly designed or poorly constructed buildings that presents a danger. Since May 1, 2011, the Eurocode 8 rules, which govern earthquake-resistant construction, must be applied.

In the Caribbean, single-family homes and small buildings can follow simplified rules, called CP-MI rules (Construction parasismique des maisons individuelles) Antilles.

In 2007, the government set up the Plan Séisme Antilles (PSA) with the objective of bringing the residents of the Antilles to safety as quickly as possible.

This plan is mainly translated into measures of construction, or reinforcement, seismic, measures of education to risk, vocational training, awareness and preparation for crisis management.

An earthquake occurs without warning, so it is not possible to predict it. However, it is possible to know the areas at risk. To prepare for an earthquake, you must, among other things, prepare your family and teach all members of the household the right reflexes, and identify a safe place to gather outdoors.

During the tremors, in any case, you must remain calm and communicate this calm to those around you.

For more information on what to do, visit the website of the Collectivité de Saint-Martin, http://www.com-saint-martin.fr/ and the website of the Préfecture des Iles du Nord, http://www.saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr/

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