JIS News

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has sent a message to President Michelle Bachelet of Chile on the loss of lives and destruction caused by the severe earthquake that hit central Chile early this morning.The death toll, not yet known, is reported to have already exceeded 150. The damage to buildings and infrastructure is extensive. The Prime Minister said he was especially saddened because at the Caricom/Latin America Summit in Cancun Mexico earlier this week, President Bachelet was in the forefront of efforts to mobilize more assistance for Haiti which was devastated by a similar tragedy on January 12th. President Bachelet visited Haiti last Saturday on her way to the Cancun Summit.
President Bachelet is due to demit office on March 11th. She will be succeeded by President-Elect Sebastian Pinera who also attended the Cancun Summit.
The Prime Minister will meet with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) on Wednesday to review Jamaica’s preparedness for an earthquake disaster. This comes in the wake of earthquakes that have struck several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean including Venezuela, Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Argentina and Guatemala since Haiti was hit in January, as well as warnings by scientists that Jamaica remains highly vulnerable.
Jamaica’s disaster management systems are accustomed to dealing with hurricanes and floods. The Prime Minister wishes to ensure that all necessary plans are in place in the event of an earthquake in Jamaica.

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