106 Relief Centres Opened in St. James and Hanover


A total of 106 relief centres were opened in the parishes of St. James and Hanover to accommodate approximately 6,000 persons who sought refuge during Hurricane Ivan.
Some of these persons had sought refuge before the hurricane hit the island while others were forced to flee their homes when the hurricane began. Schools, churches and community centres and in some cases private homes were used as shelters, as residents within the two parishes assisted each other as much as possible.
Olga Headley, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Coordinator for St. James, told JIS News, that 2,800 persons were reported to have sought refuge in the 43 shelters in the parish. She noted however, that the number could increase as some areas were still cut off from communication and no contact had been made to get a status report.
“In St. James, we have been unable to get the necessary reports because some areas have been cut off due to terrible landslides”, she said. She named other areas such as Barrett Town, Lilliput, Chatham, Blytheston and Goodwill as areas suffering severe damage.
In Hanover, 63 shelters had to be opened to accommodate just over 3,000 persons. Secretary Manager of the Hanover Parish Council, Alfred Graham, who coordinated the emergency centre at the Hanover Parish Council office, told JIS News that centres were opened from as early as Friday afternoon. He said that the hurricane did extensive damage to several houses and agricultural crops across the parish.
“We had some 63 centres opened and from all indication, we had well in excess of some 3,000 persons in these shelters ranging from shelters with 370 to 400 persons in them, in areas like Green Island, Lucea and the Bethel School in the Hopewell area”. He stated that, with the assistance of several supermarkets throughout the parish, sufficient food supplies were sent to the shelters.
Other areas that were severely affected included, Orange Bay, Fish River, Logwood, Santoy, Green Island, March Town, Cave Valley, Salt Spring, Dias, Kingsvale, Haughton Court, Askenish, Mount Peto, Clifton, Maryland and Chester Castle as well as other areas within Lucea.
With the hurricane leaving several minor roads blocked by uprooted trees, several teams of residents could be seen voluntarily cleaning the roads of trees and debris to make their communities accessible.
Both the Sandy Bay Police Station and Courthouse lost sections of their roofs, leaving the police officers at that station having to resort to makeshift facilities. There was one reported case of death in the Lucea Primary School shelter where an ailing 57 year-old woman died.
The National Works Agency (NWA) and a team from the Hanover Parish Council are continuing the clean up effort throughout the parish.

JIS Social