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Jamaicans Urged to Make Buildings Earthquake Resistant

PICTURED: Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Ronald Jackson

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Ronald Jackson, is urging Jamaicans to invest in reinforcing structures to withstand a high-magnitude earthquake, Caribbean 360 reports.

According to the website, Jackson said that while seismic activity throughout the Caribbean doesn't suggest that Jamaica will experience a major earthquake, citizens must be vigilant.

He highlighted that Jamaica’s national architecture for dealing with emergency responses is ranked better than many of the other Caribbean islands, but citizens should take care to ensure that their buildings are "retrofitted to be more earthquake resistant".

“The fact is that we do have seismic hazards that can affect us at any time, and it really is about how well we prepare ourselves in the event that it happens, or how well we invest in more resilient infrastructure to be able to withstand any high-magnitude or any shallow event,” said Jackson.

“We need to look at how we are constructing new buildings, where we site them.

“In terms of the actual event itself, we have to really now look at understanding the immediate reactions that are necessary – the duck, cover, hold routine – and ensure that if you are at a school, business or any government institution… that you know what steps to take, in terms of evacuating the building, assembling in safe spaces, and ensuring you have wardens in the buildings, especially if you are multi-storey.”

Jackson added that these measures should be “properly coordinated, rehearsed and exercised at the organisational level to make them effective”.

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