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Active quake zones in Jamaica: Island registers 200 tremors annually

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2010 | 12:00 AM

JAMAICA HAS three active earthquake zones in two parishes along the eastern coast of the island, according to Dr Lyndon Brown, head of the Earthquake Unit and research fellow at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

The zones are located near Kraal River and Milk River in Clarendon, and Wag Water River in St Mary.

While not providing any figures, Brown told The Gleaner that there were "a lot" of earthquakes in these areas last year.

"These, however, were low magnitude earthquakes," he pointed out. According to the Earthquake Unit's website, there are about 200 mostly minor earthquakes in and around Jamaica every year, registering a magnitude 4.0 or less.

earthquake/tsunami workshop

Brown's disclosure came after a earthquake/ tsunami workshop put on by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Kingston on Thursday.

ODPEM Training Manager Cheryl Nichols said the workshop, designed for corporate and public-sector agencies, was planned long before the magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti on Tuesday.

While noting that the lessons to be learned from Haiti are too difficult, Nichols said "we have to use it to channel how we move forward as a nation".

She urged participants to rethink the way they prepared disaster plans for their companies. These plans, she stressed, should be understood by every employee and should be put to the test with regular earthquake drills.