Wed | Nov 14, 2018

A disaster waiting to happen!

Published:Tuesday | December 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

There is an old building on Harbour Street in Port Antonio, opposite the police station on which a warning sign has been posted advising that it has been condemned and is unsafe. The building has two floors, the ground floor of which was constructed of brick and mortar, while the upper floor is mainly of wood. The entire building is unsafe and is a disaster waiting to happen.

Pieces of lumber and masonry are falling from this building, which has been an eyesore for a long time. At the same time, people have ignored the sign and continue to use it for a variety of purposes, including the selling of wares to the front of the ground floor. The piazza is also a popular place where the town's mentally ill and homeless people sleep.

The Portland Parish Council should spearhead the speedy demolition of this building and then try to recover the costs from the owners of the premises. We should not wait until it falls and kills someone before we are spurred into action. Jamaica lies near to the Caribbean fault line along which a lot of tremors occur each year and I shudder to think what would happen if a major earthquake hits the island. Maybe this could be the start of a project to rid the town of derelict buildings, many of which have remained standing for years, especially in the main business district between Harbour Street and William Street. It would give the town a new look and possibly open up new opportunities for investment, which it sorely needs.

Basil Stewart