Connect with us

Caribbean News

Jamaicans urged to take disaster preparedness seriously



#MONTEGO BAY, Feb. 24 (JIS): Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is imploring Jamaicans to take the matter of disaster preparedness seriously, as to do otherwise could put lives at risk.

            The Minister, who was addressing a recent dengue-prevention and disaster preparedness meeting at the Ruseas High School in Hanover, said that while Jamaica is fortunate to not have suffered a major disaster in recent years, “we should never take the approach as if this is never going to happen to us”.

Atlantic Hurricane Season storm names for 2020

            “While it is indeed the responsibility of the Government to put things in place to ensure that the country is in a position to respond to whatever crisis that might arise, the people also must do their part in adhering to best practices and to take the necessary precautions to protect their families and the communities in which they live,” he argued.

            Minister McKenzie reiterated calls for persons to adhere to disaster warnings, noting that the Government should not have to resort to doing forced evacuations to get people to move from disaster-prone areas. He said that such operations put the evacuees and those doing the evacuations at risk.

            “We can’t just sit back and take comfort in that we are a God-blessed country and that God will always spare us from a direct hit. We have to be prepared. How we build and where we build are some of the areas of concern.

            “How we operate in a particular space are things that can come back to haunt us. Also, we need to look at how we view notifications…warnings,” he pointed out.

            Minister McKenzie said that citizens also need to practise proper solid-waste disposal to reduce susceptibility to flooding.

Flooding in Jamaica, October 2016

            He noted that in excess of 850 truckloads of bulk waste was removed from various communities during the recent dengue clean-up exercise.

             “As Minister, it is again my responsibility to put systems in place, but we also need people to understand that it is counterproductive for drains to be cleaned today and then get clogged up again tomorrow. This is money that could be put in other areas of disaster preparedness. We have to do better than that,” he said.

            Mr. McKenzie is also urging all Jamaicans to make earthquake preparedness a daily routine, noting that the 7.7 magnitude tremor that shook the island last month was “a real eye-opener”.

            He noted that the Government is stepping up efforts to increase its preparedness mechanism should a similar or stronger activity occur.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.


Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

Continue Reading

Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package



#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.


Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

Continue Reading

Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

Continue Reading