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Press Release # 2 Issued on: Monday January 14, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

 ODPEM PARTNERS WITH EARTHQUAKE UNIT TO AID IMPROVED ASSESSMENT

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will
be donating US$30,000.00 to the Earthquake Unit, University of the West Indies
(UWI), to facilitate the installation of four motion seismographs (accelerometer) in
the Kingston Metropolitan Area Including the offices of ODPEM.

The motion seismographs designed to measure high seismic activity will be
located on buildings to help monitor the response of the building and other
structures during major earthquakes, as well as provide ground motion
information that can be used in site characterization in major development
projects. The devices will also provide pertinent information that can help to
improve the characterization of seismic vulnerability across the island.
The installation of the device will complement ODPEM’s mandate, along with its
partners, towards achieving a high standard of readiness to high magnitude
earthquakes.

Director General for the ODPEM, Mr Ronald Jackson is optimistic that the
organization’s support for the procurement of these devices will reap maximum
benefit. He posits that the devices will help build a network for improved data on
the site specific behaviour of buildings and can help to inform the revision of the
building codes.

“It will also help in the revision of general standards of construction, promoting
risk reduction and prevention. Overtime, we will also be able to identify the likely
behaviour of building types in site specific conditions. This will give an insight to
the possible susceptibility of certain structures to high magnitude earthquakes
thereby providing first responders with possible response scenarios”, he
concluded.

Dr. Lyndon Brown, Head of The Earthquake Unit at the UWI welcomes this
gesture from ODPEM and shares that this will certainly enhance work being done
at the centre. The Unit is also working alongside the TransJamaica Highway and
Norman Manley International Airport to monitor the structural response of bridges
and building respectively to strong earthquakes. This information will also be
used by the EQU in seismic hazard assessment of the island.

Contact: Coleen Douglas at 876-849-9560 or coleendouglas@hotmail.com
or Orlene Lewis Information Officer olewis@odpem.org.jm



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