Tsunami would not have resulted in major damage in Jamaica - Lyew Ayee
Head of the Mona GeoInformatics Institute Dr Parris Lyew Ayee says if Jamaica had experienced a tsunami following a major earthquake in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday evening, the damage would have been minor.
However, he has warned against complacency and is urging policymakers to employ comprehensive preparedness strategies.
Jamaica had been monitoring the situation after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between the coast of Honduras and the Cayman Islands, causing officials to warn people around the region to be alert to the threat of possible tsunami surges.
"If it came to Jamaica, my concern would have been for the marine interest especially coast guards with their boats docked up. This tsunami wouldn't have toppled any building or resulted in major displacement. It would have caused boats to rise up and bounce things, but nothing that would result in widespread destruction," he explained.
"For God's sake, this is not the same as Boxing Day tsunami," he said in reference to the 2004 occurrence in Thailand.
"I'm not ruling out something like that happening in Jamaica, but we have to remember that those parts of the world are seismically more active,” he explained.
Thailand was one of the countries that was hit by the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
Thai authorities estimate that at least 8,150 people are likely to have died.