National broadcast, 8 p.m. by Prime Minister Eugenia Fearon-Greaves
Good night, my fellow Jamaicans. It is with a heavy heart that I address the nation. As we are all aware, we were hit by a devastating earthquake at 9:47 this morning, the worst the island has ever experienced, eclipsing the one that sank Port Royal over three hundred years ago.
She paused briefly, as though allowing that to sink in.
The magnitude 7.7 earthquake has caused death and destruction across the island. Sections of Portmore are completely under water, as well as Port Royal. The sea has reclaimed sections of entire communities. Kingston and St. Andrew were also severely impacted with damages to buildings and infrastructure. Every parish was affected by the earthquake, but the ones mentioned have been affected the worst. The island is under a tsunami watch until further notice, and we continue to feel aftershocks.
The largest humanitarian effort the Caribbean has ever seen is underway as we receive critical support and aid from across the world, especially the US, Canada and the UK, and our Caribbean neighbours. The members of parliament and their councillors are on the ground spearheading the relief efforts as we immediately try to get help to those who need it. Today is a dark day in our nation’s history, but as we begin the arduous process of getting back to the light, please remember that you are Jamaican: strong, proud, resilient. We will rebound. We will rebuild. We likkle but we tallawah.