Since 2008, as part of the Antilles Earthquake Plan (PSA), the DEAL (Department of the Environment, Planning and Housing) of Guadeloupe, in collaboration with the Collectivité of Saint-Martin, organizes the week "Sismik", in order to make the general public aware of the seismic risk.
According to the organizers of the “Sismik” week, prevention and information allow a population to be more resilient and less sensitive to the risks that surround it. Risk culture means first of all knowing the major risks in its territory, and this knowledge must then be shared by everyone, so that all the players are able to prepare and act accordingly.
The French Antilles are territories particularly exposed to seismic risk because of their proximity to the subduction zone between the American plate and the Caribbean plate. Saint-Martin is in an area with high seismicity, and on a scale of 5, the seismic zoning is 5.
However, the earthquake itself does not kill, it is the collapse of poorly designed or poorly constructed buildings that present a danger. Since May 1, 2011, Eurocode 8 rules, which govern earthquake-resistant constructions, must be applied.
In the Antilles, single-family homes and small buildings can follow simplified rules, known as the Antilles CP-MI (Seismic Construction of Single-Family Home) rules.
In 2007, the government set up the Antilles Earthquake Plan (PSA) with the aim of securing West Indian residents as quickly as possible.
This plan is mainly reflected in earthquake-resistant construction or reinforcement measures, risk education measures, vocational training, awareness-raising 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 risk areas. To prepare for an earthquake, you must, among other things, prepare your family and teach all members of the household the right reflexes, identify a safe gathering place outside.
During the tremors, in all cases you must remain calm and communicate this calm to those around you.
For more information on what to do about it, visit the website of the Collectivité de Saint-Martin, http://www.com-saint-martin.fr/ and the Prefecture des Iles du Nord website, http: / /www.saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr/
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