JIS News

The Meteorological Service of Jamaica is seeking to undertake a more intensive study of the Palisadoes strip, come the second half of the year.
According to Meteorologist with the Met Office, Clifford Mahlung, the office would be partnering with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry of Health and Environment to carry out the study.
He was speaking at the weekly JIS ‘Think Tank’, held at its headquarters on Half-Way Tree Road in Kingston on February 20.
The study is expected to complement the remedial work currently underway on the strip, which is a sub-project of the Cuban Road Repair programme, funded by Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
“The interventions now being carried out are just for the damage that has occurred and also for the changes that are occurring now,” he pointed out. Mr. Mahlung said the work done would certainly help and may be useful for the next 20 to 30 years, “but we need to look beyond that and this study will do just that.”
He said that with the anticipation of greater changes in the environment over time, there was the need to conduct more studies to look at, for example, how the most severe systems impact the area.
“We need to do storm surge mapping and GIS [Geographical Information System] mapping and so we are putting in place a more comprehensive study that will be able to address some of those concerns,” he informed.
Unlike the Cuban study which focused on the vulnerable areas of the peninsula, Mr. Mahlung said that the upcoming one would involve looking at the entire peninsula.
“We are starting from Bull Bay along the east coast, because there are areas impacted like Caribbean Terrace to take into consideration, which have not been. We will go right up to Port Royal and include the entire strip as there is a Marine Park, and so we will look at the impact [of the changes] on biodiversity historical sites as well,” he noted.
The protection of the Palisadoes strip was whittled away in the wake of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and since then, the strip has become vulnerable to flooding in times of high tide and a strong easterly flow.

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