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JIS News

Several businesses in Port Maria, were inspected yesterday (Jan. 31), during a ‘hazard hunt’ by the St. Mary Disaster Committee.
The exercise, which was conducted as part of activities celebrating January as Earthquake Awareness Month in the parish, served to increase the awareness of the operators and staff of the enterprises about the danger of earthquakes, and ensuring compliance with accepted procedures and practices that will mitigate the effects of earthquakes.
A total of 24 entities were inspected during the exercise, including supermarkets, bakeries, wholesales, and stores.
The inspection followed other earthquake awareness activities held earlier in different groups and communities of the parish, including talks and presentations in schools, and at businesses.
Speaking with JIS News at the end of the inspection, St. Mary Disaster Coordinator, Yolande Jankie, aid she was pleased with the way the exercise was conducted, adding that the operators and staff members of the places inspected were highly accommodating and cooperative.
She stated conditions and situations, which will prevent efforts to mitigate the effects of an earthquake, were identified at a number of the businesses, and that the recommendations made to put the necessary corrections in place.
Some of the unsuitable conditions identified were the need for the adequate provision of doors to allow for evacuation of the buildings; the overloading of shelves with goods, which can fall and cause harm during an earthquake; and the blocking of doorways with stocks and other material.
Mrs. Jankie said she was confident that the entities will put mechanisms in place to address those problems and eliminate the dangers and the potential to cause damage in the event of an earthquake.
During the exercise, a talk on earthquake awareness was given by Mrs. Jankie at the various businesses, while pamphlets on the subject were distributed for further information.