Tough questions from dump fire
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I hear on the news that a report on the air quality over the Corporate Area is to be available in a few days. Apart from keeping records, what good is that to us? What if the smoke from Riverton was highly toxic, would the powers that be wait until we all die before we know the quality of the air we breathe? Many of us can recall hearing of the terrible accident in the city of Bhopal in India a few years ago when thousands of persons and animals perished in their sleep during the Union Carbide pesticides plant accident which released highly toxic fumes into the air.
I am not an engineer, but could not a wetting system be put in place at the landfill to keep the area wet during the dry season? The sugar estates have overhead irrigation systems which could be copied since water is available from the Duhaney River nearby. After all these years, why have hydrants not been installed? It is well known that the best method of dealing with fires is prevention, but if it does happen, the best time to act is immediately, before it spreads. In windy conditions it is even worse because the fire spreads rapidly. By the time help comes from an already under-equipped fire service, the fire would be already out of control.
This also brings up another question, what if Kingston ever has to be evacuated quickly? Could the Mandela Highway handle the situation with no railway to help? If we can't deal with a fire, how are we going to deal with a major earthquake which can be expected at any time?