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JIS News

Hundreds of students from 16 educational institutions in Montego Bay and its environs, participated in the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Hazard Awareness Day activities, held at the Montego Bay High School in St. James, on Tuesday (January 11).
The activities, which included performances by students in poetry, song, dance and drama, as well as a poster competition, were carried out to observe Earthquake Awareness Week, and also as a part of the ODPEM’s outreach activities. “Activities carried out today were aimed at sensitizing students on various hazards and disasters and to motivate them towards creating and performing poetry, song, dance and drama as well as other cultural programmes dealing with preparedness and prevention of disaster issues,” ODPEM Information Officer Sophia Mitchell told JIS News.
“Overall I think the activities were very successful and our hope is that it will get bigger and better as the years go by. As part of the ODPEM’s outreach activities, we are happy to be in this area as we thought it necessary to sensitize the western region and the schools which are a very vital part of the whole community,” she added.
Citing the great devastation caused by the Tsunami in Asia, and the thousands of lives lost, she stressed that even though the Caribbean region was at a greater threat of being affected by earthquakes, rather than a Tsunami, all persons needed to be educated on the issue and be as prepared as possible.She expressed the hope that the nationwide public education programme in schools, businesses and community groups, including churches, would result in a better prepared country. Miss Mitchell said Hazard Awareness Day was spearheaded by the ODPEM, with support from the Montego Bay Hazard Management Project, through the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals (JIEP) and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ).

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