ODPEM earthquake drill slated for Pan Jam building this Thursday

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has announced an earthquake simulation drill slated for Thursday, January 16, at the Pan Jam building in New Kingston.

The exercise comes days after Puerto Rico was rocked by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake which affected Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Dominica, the British Virgin Islands, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean Netherlands, Saint Barthélemy, Anguilla, and other territories in the region.

The ODPEM says the drill is being staged against the background of Jamaica’s geographical location along the northern margin of the Caribbean Plate.

“The presence of an active fault on the island makes it vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis,” ODPEM said on Monday.

The agency said that to maintain earthquake and tsunami awareness among the business community, and to increase awareness of this threat to the country, it will be participating in the earthquake drill, which is being hosted by Pan Jam Investment.

Supporting agencies include the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, and the Jamaica Fire Brigade.

Among the other agencies that are expected to participate are Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Financial Services Commission (FSC), UNICEF, UNAIDS, as well as private-sector entities including JMMB, Denton Law, and Ericsson.