A massive earthquake off the coast of Honduras and the possibility of a Tsunami hitting several other countries, including Jamaica, caused panic among some residents of Old Harbour Bay.Old Harbour News was reliably inform that from as early as 1:00 am, residents started to leave the south west St Catherine coastal town after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit the region between Honduras and the Cayman Islands. By 3:00 am hundreds of residents were streaming out of the community of approximately 5,000 inhabitants, as news began circulating that a Tsunami is imminent. However, such a warning was not coming from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM). Neither did the Tsunami alert system, based in the community, was activated. Just before midnight Prime Minister Andrew Holness had also informed the country via Twitter that “Jamaica is officially not under threat from a Tsunami”.
Yet many residents took the personal decision to evacuate, leaving nothing to chance. A small crowd had already congregated at the entrance of the Old Harbour High School when Old Harbour News visited the area at about 4:00 am today. The Old Harbour town centre was buzzing with life, as many converge near the police station. Many with personal belongings in hand, sat along the main road leading into the community.
Jamaica is officially not under threat from a Tsunami. @odpem— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) January 10, 2018