JIS News

Acting Manager of the St. Thomas branch of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Thomas Amin Fagan has said that at least 1,000 persons in St. Thomas have been assessed for damage suffered as a result of hurricanes Dennis and Emily.
Mr. Fagan told JIS News recently that the department was currently carrying out assessments in the “most devastated” areas, noting that, “not a lot of damage was done by Emily.”
“We are still trying to cover the most devastated areas and then branch out into the areas that were less affected,” he said. He said names of flood victims submitted to the department by community leaders were also being verified before being sent to the Ministry.
He further stated that the team had verified the destruction of 14 homes and household articles that were destroyed by floodwaters and land slippage. Most of these, he said, were observed in the worst hit areas in the parish, such as Cedar Valley, Mount Lebanus, Somerset and Mount Vernon.
According to Mr. Fagan, the persons registered are seeking assistance from the Ministry to assist them in rebuilding their homes.
“But first, we have instructed them to find new locations in areas that are not flood prone because it will not make sense to rehabilitate them in the same spot where they were destroyed,” he said.
Additionally, Mr. Fagan said, food supplies, tarpaulin, and blankets had been distributed to the flood victims and supplies taken to areas that were inaccessible by vehicle. The relief effort, he said, was done in collaboration with the St. Thomas Parish Council, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the Jamaica Red Cross and the Salvation Army.