DESPITE some of Jamaica’s premier sporting venues being in need of major upgrades, relevant stakeholders said they haven’t been affected by Monday’s earthquake.
The estimated 5.6-magnitude earthquake was felt islandwide at approximately 10:57 am on Monday, with dozens of aftershocks felt throughout the course of the day including at Stadium East where two Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League matches were being played.
Though no deaths were reported, there were a number of reports concerning damage to buildings and other assets, for citizens and businesses alike.
However, operations manager of Independence Park Limited (IPL) Martin Spaulding says National Stadium and Stadium East weren’t affected, but he will have a better understanding when general manager of IPL Major Desmon Brown returns from overseas.
“No damage was done. I did an inspection and saw nothing but when he [Major Brown] comes he’s going to get our structural engineer, that comes to us once a year, to speed him up. He gets here sometime next week and he will check what we can’t see with the naked eye,” he said.
President of Jamaica Cricket Association Wilford “Billy” Heaven revealed that Sabina Park was also in good condition after visiting the stadium.
“We are not qualified, we are not professionals or engineers, but with our naked eye we haven’t seen anything to suggest we have suffered any structural damage so we’re confident that we’re in good order and we’re ready to continue business,” said Heaven.
“If it becomes obvious to us and we see any signs of anything to suggest that we may need a technical input, certainly we will [get the technical expertise] but right now we haven’t seen anything to make that move.”
The St James Municipal Corporation currently has oversight of Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay, and deputy mayor of Mobay Richard Vernon has seen no damage.
“I visited Catherine Hall this morning [Tuesday] and from first-hand observation the facility is in good shape, it hasn’t been impacted infrastructurally. Based on reports from the disaster coordinator who did the preliminary assessment yesterday, [there was] no report of damage,” said Vernon.
The much-scrutinised Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium appeared not to be impacted, according to caretaker Errol Barr.
“No damage [was done]. We had some little cracks on the wall before [the quake] but there’s no structural damage to the property. We didn’t get much of it down here,” he said.
The National Aquatics Centre hosts the stadium pool and the offices of the sport’s governing body, Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica. Its facilities manager, Raymond Hall, revealed the property is intact.
“Based on our observations after the quake, we have no evidence of any major or minor damage whatsoever. We didn’t have any tiles dropping out of the roof, we didn’t see any cracked walls or anything like that,” said Hall.
“Everything is firing. The light had gone but it came back shortly thereafter. The pumps and everything were turned back on and everything was functioning at the right capacity – no issues at all,” he added.