Be Prepared for Earthquakes – ODPEM


The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is encouraging all sectors of the society to put emergency plans in place to mitigate the effects of an earthquake.
“We are encouraging businesses, schools and even families to have plans in place because we recognise that the island is vulnerable to not only earthquakes but to several hazards such as hurricanes and flooding,” Nadene Newsome, Director of Information and Training at ODPEM told JIS News.
The preparedness measures should also include plans to deal with tsunamis, which affected Jamaica after both the 1692 and 1907 earthquakes.
In addition, scientists have said that in the last 500 years, there have been at least 10 earthquakes, which have generated tsunamis in the northern Caribbean region, resulting in some deaths.
She noted however, that there was little possibility that the region would be affected by a tsunami of the magnitude that occurred in South Asia as the most serious threats posed by earthquakes were collapsing buildings, falling electricity lines, land slippages and mud slides. “These are some of the hazards that will result from earthquakes and can pose a higher threat, causing severe injury and death, than that of tsunamis,” Ms. Newsome pointed out.
“The ODPEM is here to tell the public that the effects of these hazards can be reduced if persons are informed and also have plans in place,” she stressed.
The ODPEM will be educating the public about earthquakes and tsunamis during ‘Earthquake Awareness Week, which will be observed from January 9 to 15.
The annual week of activities will be observed under the theme ‘Earthquake has no season. Be aware, you can prepare’ and will include church services, panel discussions and drills in schools and business places.
On January 14, the anniversary of the 1907 earthquake that rocked Port Royal killing more than 800 people and causing

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