Senate president extends condolences to earthquake, hurricane victims

Saturday, September 23, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — President of the Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson, has extended condolences to the Governments and citizens of regional countries that have been severely impacted by recent natural disasters.

“Since we (Senate) last met, the Caribbean, and in particular our brethren in Dominica, have suffered tremendously (from) Hurricane Maria… (while) our brethren in Cuba (were affected by Hurricane Irma). Indeed, (other) Caribbean (states have) not fared so well because the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico have also suffered tremendous damage,” he said.

Tavares-Finson noted that the Government has reached out to the administrations and people of the affected territories, pointing out that “we are, of course, particularly concerned (about) Dominica and Prime Minister (Roosevelt) Skerrit, who is a friend of Jamaica.”

“While we count our blessings, our neighbours have not been so lucky and, of course, we make mention of the Mexican earthquake and (acknowledge) that the damage and loss of lives could have been much more serious had the Mexicans not taken the threat of earthquakes very seriously, and practised regular earthquake drills (among other disaster preparedness measures),” he added.

In this regard, the Senate President urged Jamaicans to be more proactive in their awareness of the potential danger and threats posed by hurricanes, earthquakes and other extreme natural occurrences, and in their overall approach to disaster preparedness.

“We in Jamaica sort of skip along thinking that (these incidents) can't happen here, ignoring our history (in the process). We certainly need to begin to look more closely at our disaster preparedness (and not) ignore it and (behave) as if nothing can happen,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, Government Senator Don Wehby, said the private sector was coordinating relief efforts for the affected countries and urged members not involved to support the endeavour.

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