First Look

Old Harbour Bay Community the First to Conduct Tsunami Drill

ODPEM | 2012-02-10 09:01:00

The community of Old Harbour Bay is one step closer to strengthening its disaster plan after successfully conducting its first Earthquake and Tsunami drill yesterday. The drill which was spearheaded by the Office of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management (ODPEM) in collaboration with the St. Catherine Parish Disaster Committee, the Old Harbour Bay Community Emergency Response Team and a number of partner agencies was carried out in a relatively intense and rigorous setting.

The scenario was set with an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 felt off the coast of Puerto Rico placing Jamaica and more specifically Old Harbour Bay under a Tsunami Warning within two and a half hours. Residents of the community were alerted by this warning with the sounding of asiren from the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) and the ringing of church bells. Persons from schools, the industrial belt which includes JPS and Jamaica Energy Partners, households as well as fisher folks all responded to the warning by either running, cycling or were transported via
motor vehicle to the main assembly point of Old Harbour High School. The Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the maintenance team from Highway 2000 were all on hand to assist with the operations.

The objective of the drill was to test the Old Harbour Bay community’s general response to Earthquakes and Tsunamis by evaluating responder’s actions against current response plans and capabilities in responding to the occurrence of an earthquake. In addition, the testing of the alerting mechanism in place and the response times of core agencies.

Lessons learned and best practices that occurred from yesterday’s drill will be examined today at  the official debriefing being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Down Town, Kingston.

Posted By :Kimberley Weller

Company Name : ODPEM

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