JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Ascot Infant, Primary and High schools in Portmore, St. Catherine, were closed this morning, due to an increase in smog in the area.
  • The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has reported that the smoke coming from the Riverton City disposal site has spread to sections of the Gregory Park, Waterford and Greater Portmore communities and to sections of the Toll Road.
  • The Jamaica Fire Brigade is continuing its efforts to cover areas of the dump that are still burning.

Ascot Infant, Primary and High schools in Portmore, St. Catherine, were closed this morning, due to an increase in smog in the area.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has reported that the smoke coming from the Riverton City disposal site has spread to sections of the Gregory Park, Waterford and Greater Portmore communities and to sections of the Toll Road.

In an interview with JIS News, Vice Principal of Ascot Primary School, Janet Broomfield, said that a decision was taken from as early as 8:00 a.m. to send children back home.

“Parents who brought their children to school this morning took them back home as they too observed that the air was very smokey, so there were no students lingering on the school premises for too long,” she explained.

The Vice Principal also noted that not all students turned up for school this morning, “as classes were dismissed early yesterday due to the smoke.”

“The air is now clear, not as smokey as this morning. Due to what we are experiencing, we would love to have school in the morning (March 18), especially with GSAT students,” Mrs. Broomfield said.

She said she is in agreement with the postponement of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) from March 19 and 20 to the 26 and 27.

“I agree that next week is better for the GSAT examinations to allow for fairness in its administration. This will also allow for a little more time for them to prepare,” she noted.

ODPEM is advising school administrators in the affected areas to assess the situation and make a determination in the best interest of staff and students.

The Jamaica Fire Brigade is continuing its efforts to cover areas of the dump that are still burning.

ODPEM is also advising residents to heed precautions to reduce the effects of smoke exposure as a result of the fire.