JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Westmoreland Disaster Committee is undertaking an extensive earthquake education programme as part of activities for Earthquake Awareness Month in January.
  • The Earthquake Unit is reporting that the island experienced 221 tremors in 2014 and researchers are predicting that a major quake will affect Jamaica “in the near future.”
  • The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) continues to emphasise the importance of community involvement in earthquake preparedness and response.

The Westmoreland Disaster Committee is undertaking an extensive earthquake education programme as part of activities for Earthquake Awareness Month in January.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News on Tuesday (January 20), Disaster Preparedness Coordinator for the parish, Rev. Hilma Tate, said the programme involves lectures, drills, expositions and demonstrations/simulations at schools, libraries, community centres, as well as business places across the parish.

“Sensitisation of the public on earthquake awareness was carried out via local media houses such as Linkz FM and Vybz FM radio programmes. There was also a successful public exhibition launched at the Westmoreland Parish Library, and which has been attracting hundreds of persons,” she informed.

Rev. Tate told JIS News that thousands of students have already been educated through earthquake awareness presentations and drills carried out at Mount Airy and Mearnsville Primary schools, and Mount Grace Primary and Junior High.

“Plans have also been put in place to continue the education programme at a number of other educational institutions across the interior of the parish, including Llandillo School of Special Education, Dundee All-Age, and Kings Primary Schools,” she said.

She informed that the parish disaster committee is to receive assistance from a Japanese volunteer working with the Disaster Management Unit of the Westmoreland Parish Council, to undertake activities at Negril, Little London and Ferris Primary; and New Hope Primary and Junior High.

“To heighten the interest and participation of the large student population in these schools, we will be initiating a poster competition and also showing movies at the schools’ environmental club meetings,” she indicated.

Rev. Tate also offered some tips on how to respond in the event of an earthquake.

  • If indoors, stay there and DUCK, COVER and HOLD
  • If you are outside, move to a safe area away from trees, utility poles or buildings
  • If you are in a high rise building, get under a sturdy piece of furniture
  • If you are in a car, pull to the side of the road and stop.

The Earthquake Unit is reporting that the island experienced 221 tremors in 2014 and researchers are predicting that a major quake will affect Jamaica “in the near future.”

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) continues to emphasise the importance of community involvement in earthquake preparedness and response.

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