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JIS News

Earthquake Awareness Week will be observed from January 8 to 13 under the theme, ‘Prepare Now! Don’t Wait.Be Ready for the Next Earthquake’.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (OPDEM) conceptualised the week in order to fully exploit opportunities to sensitize the Jamaican public about the need to prepare for earthquakes.
Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Nadine Newsome, Director of Information and Training at ODPEM, said that persons needed to be aware of the fact that earthquakes could occur at any time. “They do not have a season and therefore come without a warning,” she pointed out.
She emphasized that ODPEM wanted the public to be on constant alert. “We want to create a culture of preparedness, which is passed down from generation to generation,” she said.
Meanwhile, several activities have been planned to observe the week, which kicks off officially with a church service on January 8 at the New Testament Church of God located at 51 Eastwood Park Road, beginning at 8:00 a.m.
On January 9, all branch and parish libraries will be expected to display earthquake related material in their reading rooms.
ODPEM will also host a press conference on January 10 at its headquarters on South Camp Road to announce plans for New Kingston Earthquake Drill later this year. The press conference will commence at 9:00 a.m.
Two annual events, Earthquake Awareness Day for Businesses and Schools, will be held on January 11 and 12, respectively. Schools are being encouraged to conduct drills and have discussions with students about disaster preparedness, while offices are asked to mount posters, conduct drills or arrange talks on earthquake awareness.
On January 11, a disaster awareness exposition will be held at the Fishing Beach in Old Harbour Bay, Clarendon, starting at 10:00 a.m. ODPEM intends to highlight earthquake related products as well as to stress the importance of being prepared for threats, such as tsunamis.
Closing out the week on January 13 will be a Youth Rap Session at the Seaforth High School in St. Thomas. A collaborative effort of the JIS and ODPEM, the event is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m.
The special week was designated during January because of the 1993 and 1907 earthquakes, which occurred around the same period.