Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Earthquake confirms need for global resilience centre - Bartlett

Published:Thursday | August 23, 2018 | 12:13 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer


Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says that the strong 7.3 earthquake that rocked Venezuela and several Caribbean countries on Tuesday has driven home the urgent need to establish a global resilience centre in the region to mitigate against seismic and other climate events.

"The recent earthquake in our neighbouring countries of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados highlights the point about the increase in vulnerability of the Caribbean and other countries of the world to seismic as well as climate events," Bartlett said.

The United States Geological Survey said the 7.3 magnitude earthquake, with a depth of 76.5 miles, was the largest to strike Venezuela since 1900.

"These occurrences, which are gaining frequency, make the points eloquently for a global resilience and crisis management centre and observatory such as we are establishing at the University of the West Indies, Mona," said Bartlett, in reference to the university's setting up of a global centre for tourism resilience and crisis management unit.

"The centre will be the repository of information and the base for communication to a global community concerning these events, but it will also provide technical support and assistance to countries, particularly those that are most vulnerable."




According to the minister, Jamaica has a tremendous role to play in helping to provide leadership in critical areas of managing global disruptions and building better global resilience, not only with resource constraint but physical and geographical location, whether in the middle of the ocean, high in the mountains, in cities, or on coastal planes.

Jamaica will host a summit of the Americas on September 13 at the University of the West Indies, bringing together world leaders to discuss climate and seismic events matters.

"It will bring together a number of experts from across the world who will discuss and develop a blueprint for resilience against global disruptions and to help us to understand even better the nature of some of these disruptions and how small vulnerable countries like Jamaica can prepare and build capacity," Bartlett said.