NWA to continue checks of critical infrastructure for earthquake damage
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The National Works Agency (NWA) will continue to undertake checks of critical infrastructure, following the 5.6 magnitude earthquake which shook Jamaica on Monday.
Manager, Communication and Customer Services at the NWA, Stephen Shaw, said the technical team has been tasked to check on structures such as bridges.
“A good example would be the flyovers at Three Miles… those have multiple spans. A lot of our bridges have buttoning and so we are not too worried about those; it is the ones that have two or three spans. With the movement, you could have joints opening up; and we have seen that before, for example, on the structure going from Caymanas into Portmore that spans the Rio Cobre,” Shaw said.
He was speaking during the National Disaster Risk Management Council meeting on Tuesday at the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development on Hagley Park Road in Kingston.
Shaw indicated that there were reports of a number of corridors in Portland, St Thomas and St Andrew being impacted.
He said the Agency has responded and “the good thing is that there is no community right now that is inaccessible due to fallen rocks and landslides.”
“We are still responding to those huge boulders that are present on the road between Papine and Bull Bay. We do have some issues, too, in St Thomas along the Mahogany Vale to Hagley Gap road,” Shaw said.
“The key thing for us now is to ensure that our structures are safe, and I have gotten reports of cracks in some roads. So, we are continuing with our reconnaissance,” he added.
Shaw also expressed concern about the impending increased rainfall anticipated for the island.
“If a lot of water is dumped on us and with the tremor, there is going to be more rock falls in areas we know that are susceptible,” he pointed out.