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.
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|An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock. While earthquakes are sometimes believed to be a West Coast phenomenon, there are actually 45 states and territories throughout the United States that are at moderate to high risk for earthquakes. |
Since it is impossible to predict when an earthquake will occur, it is important that you and your family are prepared ahead of time.
Flooding is the nation's most common natural disaster. Flooding can happen in every U.S. state and territory. However, all floods are not alike. Some can develop slowly during an extended period of rain. Others, such as flash floods, can occur quickly, even without any visible signs of rain. It’s important to be prepared for flooding no matter where you live, but particularly if you are in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even a very small stream or dry creek bed can overflow and create flooding.