JIS News

The hurricane damage assessment process is advanced in Portland, with some 600 interviews conducted so far, said Acting Manager for Public Assistance at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Port Antonio office, Maxwell Hamilton.
The exercise, which started on Monday (Aug. 20), is to determine the extent of damage and loss suffered by residents from Hurricane Dean, which passed south of the island on Sunday (Aug.19).
Mr. Hamilton, who was addressing a meeting of the Portland Disaster Committee at the Parish Council building yesterday (Aug. 24) said that the assessment team has already visited Port Antonio, Long Bay, Manchioneal, Sherwood Forest, Spring Gardens, St. Margaret’s Bay, Orange Bay, Hector’s River, Scott’s Run, Long Road and Belleview.
Information gathered so far reveal that 30 houses have been destroyed, 110 were severely damaged, and 153 sustained minor damage.
As at Friday, some 90 persons remained in shelters and of the amount, 34 are being housed at the Manchioneal All-age School, 12 at the Reach City Mission Church, 20 at Windsor All-age, 10 at the Golden Vale shelter, and three at the Nonsuch All-age School.
Portland Disaster Coordinator, Denise Lewis, said that persons in the shelters are being provided with food and other relief supplies by the Labour Ministry, which is receiving support from a number of non government groups such as the Jamaica Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Adventist Disaster Relief Agency (ADRA).
She noted that every effort is being made to conclude the assessment exercise in order to restore normality to the lives of the affected persons in the shortest possible time.
As it regards the state of roads in the parish, Portland Parish Manager for the National Works Agency, Winston Palmer, informed that all roads have been cleared to at least accommodate single lane traffic, while the Wakefield to Hardware Gap road remains closed due to a collapsed retaining wall in the area of Regale.
He said every effort will be made to address that situation as early as possible, and ensure that all roads are fully open within the next two to three weeks.

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