JIS News

Prime Minister P. J. Patterson has said that all visitors to the island were safe and there had been no threat to the security of any foreign citizen, nor has a single visitor to the island been subject to danger during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
The Prime Minister, who was speaking to hoteliers and other business operators in Negril yesterday (Sept. 15), further pointed out, that those visitors who chose to remain in the island, as well as those who kept their holiday plans and had arrived in the island since the passing of the hurricane, had all been perfectly safe.
Mr. Patterson’s statement comes against the background of a recent Travel Advisory issued by the US State Department, which advised American citizens not to travel to Jamaica at this time, while at the same time encouraging US embassy personnel to leave the island because of safety concerns.
The Prime Minister emphasized that at the onset of the hurricane, arrangements had been made for persons who wished to leave the island to do so. “There were many who elected to stay, all of them were safe, and none of them were injured. All were made as comfortable as possible in accordance with the finest traditions of Jamaican hospitality, and will on their return home, share with their relatives and their friends a memorable experience of what nature can do”, he said.
Meanwhile, he said that Jamaica was safe and open for business and cruise ships have already resumed their visits to the ports of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.On another matter, the Prime Minister has defended his decision to institute a 30-day state of public emergency, noting that the move was designed to maintain public safety and ensure adequate supplies of food and other essential items during the period before and after the hurricane.
He cited states in America that had taken the same decision as the very powerful hurricane headed to their shores.
“As the storm heads towards Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee, those states have already declared a state of emergency for the very same and precise reasons which impelled us to do so here in Jamaica before Ivan arrived. We are not faced with insurrection.riots or civil disturbances. We have however a responsibility to ensure that despite a hurricane or a natural disaster, we can maintain essential supplies of goods and services, and that we have the necessary powers to ensure the maintenance of public safety throughout the island of Jamaica”, the Prime Minister stated.

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