JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have been installed in the Bog Walk Gorge, as part of automated early warning system developed by ODPEM.
  • The system, which also involves text message alerts, is to warn emergency personnel in the event of flooding in the area.
  • The SMS alert feeds information to ODPEM, National Works Agency (NWA), Water Resources Authority (WRA) and other authorities.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have been installed in the Bog Walk Gorge, as part of automated early warning system developed by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).

The system, which also involves text message alerts, is to warn emergency personnel in the event of flooding in the area.

“The Bog Walk Gorge, which has been a problem to us for many years, is connected with CCTV and cameras for real-time information to be notified to all the communities involved and the necessary action taken,” informed Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott.

He was speaking at Wednesday’s (July 9) Jamaica House press briefing held at Jamaica House.

He said that the SMS alert feeds information to ODPEM, National Works Agency (NWA), Water Resources Authority (WRA) and other authorities, once there is continuous rainfall in the catchment area of the Rio Cobre or an unusual rise in water levels.

Meanwhile, Minister Arscott said work is being undertaken to strengthen the Old Harbour Bay community early warning system, with funding from the Caribbean Emergency Development Management Agency (CEDMA). He added that this is related to a tsunami early warning system.

Turning to the introduction of the specialized alerting/early warning mechanism in Portmore, St. Catherine, for persons with disabilities, the Minister said that this will serve to promote multiple mode communication.

Dubbed ALERT FM, he said the system, which is now available and ready for use among the disabled community, is a personal alert and messaging system that enables officials to create and send targeted information.

“We are focusing mainly on the Portmore community…currently, you will have to purchase it but I hope you can get it at a price that is reasonable,” he said.

Minister Arscott said that significant progress has been realized in relation to the disabled community and their vulnerability to disasters.

“Working alongside the Combined Disabilities Association and Panos Caribbean, persons with disabilities as well as their caregivers have been sensitized and are currently more prepared to respond in the event of a disaster or an emergency has been enhanced,” he said.