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Damage Assessments Underway

By: , November 19, 2023
Damage Assessments Underway
Photo: Michael Sloley
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie (left) and Member of Parliament, East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, observe a breakaway along a section of roadway during a tour of the area on Saturday (Nov.18). Over 30 landslides were reported in the constituency.
Damage Assessments Underway
Photo: Michael Sloley
Member of Parliament, East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, points to an area of land slippage during a tour of sections of the constituency on Saturday (Nov.18).
Damage Assessments Underway
Photo: Michael Sloley
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie (centre); and Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. (right), listen as Member of Parliament, East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, highlights the impact of a landslide caused by the recent heavy rains during a tour of the constituency on Saturday (Nov. 18). Over 30 landslides were reported in the constituency.

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Teams from municipal corporations are currently undertaking assessments to determine the extent of damage from the adverse weather system, which affected the island over the last two days.

This was disclosed by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, during a tour of sections of East Rural St. Andrew on Saturday (Nov. 18).

“They are working in tandem with the National Works Agency (NWA) to come up with a clear picture of what has taken place over the last two days. It is not going to be possible today to give an extensive outlook as to the situation across the country based on the fact that we are still gathering information,” he said.

There have been reports of landslides and flooding in several parishes associated with Potential Tropical Cyclone 22, which impacted the island between November 16 and 17.

The weather system produced heavy rains and strong and gusty winds, especially over southern and eastern parishes.

Jamaica was placed under a Tropical Storm Watch, with flash flood warning effected for low-lying and flood-prone areas.

Minister McKenzie said preliminary assessments indicate that East Rural St. Andrew and other parts of the Corporate Area, sections of St. Catherine, St. Thomas and Clarendon, are among the areas that have been badly affected by the system.

He said there have been no reports of deaths or major injuries.

Acting Director General, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Richard Thompson, noted that the entity continues to receive information that will be shared with the relevant agencies and ministries.

“So far, we have roughly nine parishes with predominant damage being in St. Thomas, Clarendon, Kingston and St. Andrew and we have received information as well for St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Trelawny and Portland.

“We continue to generate the reports and we continue to ensure that the information is passed on to all the agencies that are a part of the National Disaster Risk Management set up, so that the appropriate decisions can be made in terms of what we do going forward,” he said.

Other members of the touring party included: Member of Parliament, East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness; Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr; Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Information, Hon. Robert Morgan; Deputy Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Winston Ennis; and representatives from State agencies including the NWA; Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB); and the National Water Commission (NWC).

Last Updated: November 19, 2023

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