JIS News

Residents of Yallahs in St. Thomas are being urged to be prepared for earthquakes in order to mitigate the worst effects.
Disaster Coordinator at the St. Thomas Parish Council, Millicent Blake, speaking at an earthquake awareness meeting at the Yallahs town square on Monday (Jan. 12), said that although St. Thomas has not had any earthquakes in recent time, residents should always be aware that the parish sits on a fault line.
“St. Thomas sits on a fault. The fault line runs throughout St. Thomas so therefore, we’re likely to have an earthquake at anytime,” she told the residents.
Stressing that “preparedness is key,” Miss Blake said: “earthquakes give no warning. They can happen at anytime with disastrous consequences. Most of the damage is caused by falling objects or buildings collapsing.”
Providing advice on how to minimise or prevent personal and property damage during earthquakes, the St. Thomas Parish Disaster Co-ordinator instructed that persons inside buildings should take cover under a table, bed, or any hard surface, or stand in a doorway. She pointed out that glass surfaces should be avoided.
Furniture should also be bolted to walls and floors, she said, especially in homes with small children, old or physically challenged persons. She noted that hanging ornaments such as chandeliers, which beautifully adorn homes and living spaces, could easily become deadly missiles during an earthquake, and should be secured.
The town meeting was held in collaboration with the Jamaica Information Service and the Social Development Commission, with participation from the Child Development Agency, Victim Support Unit of the Ministry of Justice, Jamaica Constabulary Force, among other agencies.
It was held as part of activities to mark Earthquake Awareness Week from January 11- 17 under the theme ‘Earthquakes have no season – do your part, be earthquake smart’.