Articles | Volume 13, issue 8
Research article
15 Aug 2013
Research article |  | 15 Aug 2013

Preparedness actions towards seismic risk mitigation for the general public in Martinique, French Lesser Antilles: a mid-term appraisal

J. C. Audru, J. L. Vernier, B. Capdeville, J. J. Salindre, and É. Mouly

Abstract. Martinique is a French island in the Lesser Antilles, with a high seismic hazard. In 2006, Martinican stakeholders involved in seismic safety formed the "Réplik" working group ("Aftershock" in French), the first of its kind in this region. This paper addresses a mid-term appraisal of the first seismic awareness campaign organised by Réplik from 2006 to 2011, and how it has modified, or not, local earthquake and tsunami preparedness. Despite efforts from Réplik to assess its efficiency through surveys, a growing gap is noted between the observed awareness and the actual preparedness of the public. As usual, gender, age, educational level, then boredom and saturation contribute to this discrepancy; strong cultural items may also influence the perception of actions. To remain efficient and respond to the public's expectations, Réplik must redirect its actions towards a cultural congruence of information: consideration of religion and local beliefs, comprehensive messages on TV and radio, use of the Creole language, participatory experiences and drills, and a little science. With this, the Réplik stakeholders can hope to increase Martinicans' involvement into the preparedness process, to cope quickly with a strong earthquake and this know-how can be shared with other seismically active islands in the Caribbean.