Today’s Strong Jamaica Earthquake Did Not Stop a Perfect Sunny Beach Day

Jamaica Earthquake

The heavy 5.4 earthquake Monday morning took this Caribbean Island nation and its visitors by surprise.

The earthquake knocked over shelves at supermarkets and caused some minor damage in some Jamaica neighborhoods.

There are no damages recorded to any of the Jamaica Hotels and Resorts, and visitors keep going on to experience a routine and perfect Jamaica holiday on the beaches and pools on a warm sunny 30 C day.

After the 5.4 magnitude tremor in Jamaica, there are no recorded casualties or injuries reported.

Hon. Minister Bartlett - image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Ministry
Hon. Minister Bartlett –

The Hon. Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said:

No damage to any area of the tourist experience! Thank God all is well and the visitors are safe secure and enjoy a seamless experience!

Jamaica’s Prime Minister speaks:

Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says all the requisite protocols have been activated in the wake of Monday’s (October 30) approximately 5.6 magnitude earthquake that shook Jamaica.

The Earthquake Unit at the University of the West Indies (UWI) advised that the earthquake was located about 10 kilometers south of Buff Bay, Portland, and occurred at a depth of 18 kilometers.

In a video presentation, Mr. Holness said an initial assessment indicates that minor infrastructural damage has occurred.

He added the Government had activated Jamaica’s Earthquake Protocols.

The Jamaica Earthquake protocol gives the following instructions to visitors and residents:

Earthquakes are the sudden, rapid release of energy stored in rocks.

The constant motion of the earth’s surface causes an earthquake. The earth’s rock layer is broken into large pieces. These pieces are in slow but constant motion. They may slide by each other smoothly and almost imperceptibly.

From time to time, the pieces may lock together and energy that accumulates between the pieces may be suddenly released. The energy that is released travels through the Earth in the form of waves. People on the surface of the earth then experience an earthquake.

General Eartquake Topr for Jamaica:

  • Drop down; take cover under a desk or table and hold on.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit.
  • Stay away from bookcases or furniture that can fall on you.
  • Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.
  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.
  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.
  • If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place. Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

During an Earthquake in Jamaica:

  • If you are indoors, stay there. Quickly move to a safe location in the room such as under a strong desk, a strong table, or along an interior wall. The goal is to protect yourself from falling objects and be located near the structural strong points of the room. Avoid taking cover near windows, large mirrors, hanging objects, heavy furniture, heavy appliances, or fireplaces.
  • If you are cooking, turn off the stove and take cover.
  • If you are outdoors, move to an open area where falling objects are unlikely to strike you. Move away from buildings, powerlines, and trees.
  • If you are driving, slow down smoothly and stop on the side of the road. Avoid stopping on or under bridges and overpasses, or under power lines, trees, and large signs. Stay in your car.

After an Earthquake in Jamaica:

  • Check for injuries, attend to injuries if needed, and help ensure the safety of people around you.
  • Check for damage. If your building is badly damaged you should leave it until it has been inspected by a safety professional.
  • If you smell or hear a gas leak, get everyone outside and open windows and doors. If you can do it safely, turn off the gas at the meter. Report the leak to the gas company and fire department. Do not use any electrical appliances because a tiny spark could ignite the gas.
  • If the power is out, unplug major appliances to prevent possible damage when the power is turned back on. If you see sparks, frayed wires, or smell hot insulation turn off electricity at the main fuse box or breaker. If you will have to step in water to turn off the electricity you should call a professional to turn it off for you.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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