Preliminary Estimate of Hurricane Damage put at $22.4 Billion


Preliminary estimate of the damage to the island by Hurricane Ivan has been put at $22.4 billion or US$362 million. This was disclosed by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson at yesterday’s (October 4) post cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
Mr. Patterson said the preliminary estimate submitted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) placed direct damage, which included damage to the infrastructure, at $18.57 billion or US$300 million, while indirect losses are estimated at $3.873 billion or US$62 million.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the figure represented damage amounting to 4.8 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with direct damage at 3.9 per cent and indirect damage, 0.9 per cent.
He informed that the methodology used by the PIOJ was in accordance with a framework recommended by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and that information was provided by Government Agencies, Insurance Companies, Businesses (commercial and manufacturing), the Tourist and Bauxite industries.
Mr. Patterson said that the methodology, which was applied in Jamaica for the first time in the aftermath of the October 2001 flood rains, was regarded as the most modern, accurate and most likely to be accepted by institutions regionally and internationally.
The Prime Minister emphasized however, that the figures given were preliminary, as damage assessments were still being carried out in most sectors. He noted that there were “still significant gaps” in infrastructure, particularly relating to housing, the utilities sector and tourism.
“The preliminary estimate is likely to understate the actual impact,” he told the journalists. Explaining, Mr. Patterson said this was so, as some economic sectors and some communities “have suffered private loss”, in addition to some agencies of government, which have “not been able to completely quantify their loss”.
He said a summary of the damage for each sector would be released soon, with the final work expected to be completed in two weeks, at which time a total would be given.
Estimates of direct damage refer to the monetary value of damage to capital assets, such as structures, equipment and inventories, while estimates of indirect damage refer to the monetary value of lost income flows arising from the impairment of capital assets.
To date, some 63,867 families have been assessed. As at October 4, some 29 shelters remain open with 310 persons. Shelters still open include the Portland Cottage Primary School and the Old Harbour Community Centre. Distribution of relief supplies in the form of food items, temporary roofing, blankets and personal effects continue.

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