ODPEM launches earthquake awareness campaign

January 10, 2017
Students participate in an earthquake drill.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is embarking on a three-month education campaign aimed at raising national awareness about earthquake preparedness and mitigation.

The campaign, under the theme 'Drop. Cover. Hold ... Earthquake Readiness is Within Your Control' was officially launched yesterday at the ODPEM's Haining Road offices, St Andrew.

Activities from January to March will include expositions across the island and awareness days for businesses and schools.

Earthquake awareness activities will include an outside broadcast on January 13 in observance of the 110th anniversary of the 1907 earthquake, an Open Day for schools on January 25, and emergency operation centre training for ODPEM staff on March 15 and 16.

Director General of the ODPEM Major Clive Davis said that Jamaica experiences an average of 200 earthquakes annually.

He noted that the country has suffered destructive earthquakes in the past and that there is a high probability that it will happen again.

Local experts believe that Jamaica's major fault has the potential to generate a 7.5 to 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

Davis said that the agency is working towards a comprehensive, integrated national programme aimed at reducing loss of life and property.

He said that attention to building codes and community awareness are high on the agenda.

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