The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will dispatch the first batch of supplies and personnel to Haiti tonight (January 13) as Jamaica begins support for the earthquake relief process.
Speaking with JIS News, Director General of the ODPEM, Ronald Jackson said that a Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard vessel will be transporting the relief personnel and supplies.
“I understand that they are not able to accept vessels at the seaport and at the airport, it’s only emergency flights. So we are going to be utilising the coastguard vessel, which may have a better chance of docking and offloading supplies as our first means of getting in some supplies,” Mr. Jackson said.
Some of the supplies include critical items such as generators, water, bedding and tents. Relief workers include medical and military personnel.
The ODPEM will also be looking to launch and coordinate an appeal fund to support the Haitian relief efforts.
“We will be meeting with the international development partners and donors that are located here in Jamaica, which form the Western Caribbean donor group, which is led by Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) through ODPEM, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative to see again what other support can be garnered through that mechanism,” Mr. Jackson said.
A massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 12.
The quake, which struck about 15 kilometres (10 miles) south-west of Port-au-Prince, was quickly followed by two strong aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5 in magnitude.