Prime Minister Manning Expresses Solidarity with Jamaica


Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning has expressed solidarity with Jamaica in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, which lashed the island between Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11.
Mr. Manning, who, along with a delegation of ministers and ambassadors arrived in the island yesterday (Sept. 13) on the first commercial flight into the Norman Manley International Airport since the hurricane, agreed that if the island had gotten a direct hit, the situation would have been immeasurably worse.
He indicated that as one of the countries that had signed on to the early implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy which is to come into effect in January 2005, the reconstruction process was critical for Jamaica. He also expressed regret at the devastation caused by the hurricane in Grenada.
Upon his arrival in the island, the Trinidadian Prime Minister was transported to Jamaica House, where he was greeted by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and several government ministers and officials.
Following a closed-door meeting and luncheon, Prime Ministers Patterson and Manning led a delegation on a tour of Caribbean Terrace in Harbour View, which was severely affected by the hurricane.
Residents expressed general appreciation for the visit with several persons recounting their experience and bemoaning their loss. One resident, Vasco Carney, pointed out to JIS News, that this was not a case of persons building their homes in an area that was susceptible to disaster as Caribbean Terrace was in fact an approved housing development.
He remarked that not even Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 had caused anywhere near the magnitude of the devastation that had occurred with Ivan.
Another resident of the seaside community, said that the visit by the Prime Minister and his guest was not unexpected as “any Prime Minister worth his salt would be here and ours is very caring”. He said the visit was significant to the community and was highly appreciated.
Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, and Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal, Phillip Paulwell, noted that clean-up operations had already begun for the area as well as for Port Royal, where large-scale evacuations had been conducted before the onslaught of the powerful category four hurricane.

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