Jamaicans urged to prepare for earthquakes

Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Richard Thompson (Photo: JIS)

Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Richard Thompson, says significant emphasis must be placed on earthquake preparedness in order to protect the economic gains in Jamaica.

Speaking at the ‘St Bess Disaster Management Expo 2019’, hosted by the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, in collaboration with ODPEM, in Black River, on Friday, August 23, Thompson noted that based on Jamaica’s geographic location, the country is vulnerable and can be hit with a major earthquake at any time.

“It is important that we are placing emphasis on earthquake preparedness and earthquake mitigation practices.”

— ODPEM’s Richard Thompson

In that regard, he is urging citizens to take charge of their own readiness by putting measures in place to ensure their safety in the event of a major earthquake.

“It is important that we are placing emphasis on earthquake preparedness and earthquake mitigation practices, and one of the ways to do that is to ensure that you are hardening your infrastructure and you are looking at your building codes and your systems of construction,” Thompson said.

He further explained that while Jamaicans adhere to good building practices, ODPEM remains focused on continuous mitigation and disaster risk reduction measures.