Fri | Sep 30, 2022

Earthquake simulation exercise to be undertaken in MoBay

Published:Saturday | March 19, 2022 | 10:18 AM
A section of the city of Montego Bay, St James. –Contributed photo.

The St James Municipal Corporation, through its Disaster Preparedness, Hazard Mitigation and Safety Committee, is to stage a major earthquake simulation exercise across Montego Bay.

This was noted by disaster preparedness coordinator for St James, Tamoy Sinclair, at a meeting of the Disaster Preparedness, Hazard Mitigation and Safety Committee of the corporation on Thursday.

The simulation exercise, which will be undertaken on March 28, will be carried out in partnership with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Tourism, The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

Sinclair told JIS News that the drill is aimed at assessing the readiness and responsiveness of business establishments and government agencies in the city to a major earthquake.

“The goal of the exercise is to ensure that we can test for communication and coordination skills for agencies in responding to such a wide-scale event, that would be an earthquake that would impact everyone,” she said.

According to Sinclair, the exercise will be conducted within the context that a crisis situation and significant infrastructural damage have been triggered in the resort town by a high-magnitude earthquake.

She explained that while earthquake drills would be carried out independently by entities across the resort town, the major simulation exercise organised by the Disaster Preparedness, Hazard Mitigation and Safety Committee would be held at the Jewels Grande Resort, Rose Hall.

“For that facility, we might have actors simulating injuries, calling the first responders, who will come in and assess,” she pointed out.

“We are hoping to get as many as we can get to participate to see how individual working stations can test their internal disaster risk management plans that they have in place,” Sinclair said.

“The simulation will give the business community the opportunity to test their emergency procedures that they have in place,” she underscored.

Following the exercise, Sinclair pointed out that the municipal corporation will assist companies with gaps in their disaster management plan to strengthen and streamline the document.

“Once the gaps are identified, we have the municipal corporation disaster management arm, along with the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Public Health Department, who can assist in developing plans and standard operating procedures for these entities,” Sinclair shared.

- JIS News

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