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JIS News

The response of emergency organizations in Portland to disasters, was tested at an earthquake simulation organized by the Portland Disaster Committee on March 5, at the Titchfield High School.
The event was held as a follow-up to activities held in the parish in observance of Earthquake Awareness Week in January.
Included in the simulation exercise were the occurrence of a fire to a part of the compound, the collapse of a section of the building, the deaths of two individuals and injuries to several persons.Among the agencies participating in the exercise were the Portland Parish Council, Portland Health Department, National Works Agency, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Red Cross, and Salvation Army.
Watched by hundreds of students, some of whom took part in the event along with volunteers from the National Youth Service, the exercise was conducted smoothly, with the participating agencies responding promptly to calls for their assistance.
Denise Lewis, Portland’s Disaster Co-ordinator, told JIS News that she was pleased with the swift response of the emergency agencies participating in the event, adding that the seamlessness of the exercise was an indication that Portland is able to give a sharper and effective response to disasters, thereby mitigating their effects.
In commending the participants for the role they played in making the event a success, she expressed gratitude to the staff and students of Titchfield High School for hosting the event, and for the contribution the students made in ensuring that the objectives of the simulation were realised.
Mrs. Lewis said that plans are in place to stage another disaster simulation exercise in the parish during the course of this year, adding that this would be done in keeping with the requirement of Parish Disaster Committees to organize at least two such events per year, to ensure that the disaster responsiveness of the parishes remain sharp and effective.