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JIS News

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is reporting that 988 persons are still housed in some 38 shelters that are open across the island.
The parishes most affected and where shelters remain open are Clarendon and Kingston and St. Andrew.
Commenting on the latest figures, Krechet Douglas-Greaves, Director of Information and Training at ODPEM told JIS News that a week after the passage of Hurricane Dean, the shelter at Portland Cottage Primary School in Clarendon was housing some 210 persons. In the case of the Kingston shelters on Long Mountain and Jacques Road, she pointed out that these were housing approximately 150 and 120 persons, respectively.
On the matter of distribution of immediate basic items, the Director explained that ODPEM had teamed up with the Jamaica Red Cross in order to avoid the duplication of efforts.
Turning to one of the hardest hit communities in St. Catherine, Mrs. Douglas-Greaves said that, “we are currently in the Old Harbour Bay area.” “The approach that we [ODPEM] will be taking is that we will deliver 500 food packages to communities in the Old Harbour Bay area.communities such as Bay Bottom, Thompson Pen, Salt Gully, Salt Pen, Bagga Bay, Narine and the Old Harbour Community Centre.”
The efforts of the Red Cross will also be concentrated in the Old Harbour Bay community, where food packages will be distributed to New Road, Kellies Pen, Cross Roads, Moore Pen and New Road. “All these places are in fact communities in the hard hit Old Harbour Bay area,” she said.
Mrs. Douglas-Greaves added that they would also be distributing roofing material. “We have had various pledges from local and international organizations to supply what the identified needs are, coming out of the damage assessment process,” Mrs. Douglas-Greaves said.
“We are looking at things such as roofing and items that are critical to restoring persons’ lives to normalcy and living conditions too,” she added.