JSIF provides equipment to Earthquake Unit

Sunday, February 25, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has provided well-needed equipment to the Earthquake Unit at the University of West Indies (UWI), Mona which will strengthen its ability to monitor and respond to seismic activity.

The initiative, valued at $83 million is a component of the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) aimed at enhancing Jamaica’s resilience to disaster and climate risk.

Giving details at a JIS Think Tank held on Friday, Environment and Project Officer for the DVRP at JSIF, Stacey-Anne Preston said ten digital seismometer systems have been provided, which will give data on an earthquake’s magnitude, depth and epicentre.

Additionally, 30 accelerographs will be placed at seismic stations, hospitals and schools, to measure the horizontal force acting on a building.

“We have also purchased 72 Ethernet radios with antennas, which will transmit data in real time from seismic stations to the Central Recording Station at UWI,” Preston said.

The Earthquake Unit will also receive software, computer server and network-attached storage, in addition to laboratory equipment such as portable oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer and multiplexer.

“Another critical component of the partnership involves the matter of human capacity building in the area of seismology, where a junior research fellow at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus will earn a scholarship opportunity to pursue a doctorate degree in seismology. Upon completion, the graduate student will be employed as a seismologist within the UWI Earthquake Unit,” Preston announced.

JSIF will also provide funding support for the training of the staff at the Earthquake Unit.
Lauding the JSIF on its partnership and provision, Network Manager/Engineer at the Earthquake Unit, Paul Williams said that the entity will now move from an analog system to a digital one which is more user-friendly and allow for the recording of larger earthquakes on scale.

“The network was in need of upgrade for the past 20 years and by providing these equipment, we are in a better position to embark on improved range and quality of seismic data for research, policy decisions and disaster planning and response,” Williams expressed.

The Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) is funded by the Government of Jamaica through a loan agreement with the World Bank valued at US$30 million.

The project is being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) from 2016 to 2022.

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