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Lessons to be learnt from Haiti’s Earthquake

August 14th, 2021, the world watched in shock as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Tiburon Peninsula in Haiti. The earthquake was considered to be one of the deadliest natural disasters of 2021 as it has claimed the lives of 724 persons to date whilst injuring 2,800.

Simon Alleyne who holds a Master’s of Science in Emergency Management and Planning from the University of Hertfordshire, England with commendation and is a former Programme Officer at the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) said that Haiti’s earthquake is a sad reminder that the Caribbean is an active seismic area, therefore, Barbadians must refamiliarize themselves with how to respond if an earthquake arises.

“The recent earthquake in Haiti is a reminder that the Caribbean is a seismically active area and along with the regular preparations for the hurricane season, Barbadians should remember how to respond during an earthquake. During the initial shaking, the standard process is to duck, cover and hold on. Running out of multi-story buildings and jumping through windrows is not advised,” he said.

Alleyne noted that several factors compounded the impact of the earthquake in Haiti namely poverty, rapid urbanization, and political instability.

“It is important that we minimize building houses in areas that are vulnerable to land slippage because during a high magnitude impact major property damage will occur. Furthermore, Alleyne suggested that annual training and exercises in urban search and rescue coordinated by the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) with the participation of the Barbados Defence Force, Barbados Fire Service, and other agencies improve the preparedness of Barbados to handle the impact of an earthquake,” he said.

Alleyne sent his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and said that his thoughts and prayers are with the country of Haiti as they go through this unprecedented time. (Write Right PR Services)

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