ODPEM Assessors Find Hurricane Damage in 150 Communities


Assessments conducted by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) have so far found damage in 150 communities across 12 parishes as a result of Hurricane Dean. Director General of ODPEM, Ronald Jackson, speaking at a press conference held at the agency’s Camp Road headquarters on Friday (Aug. 24), said that the wind effects of the hurricane was responsible for damage in 76 of these communities, in addition to landslides, storm surge, and flooding.
“In general, the most severely affected communities we found were Bull Bay, St. Thomas; Caribbean Terrace, Kingston; Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine; Rocky Point and Portland Cottage, Clarendon; and other sections of the Vere Plains such as Lionel Town and Mitchell Town,” he noted.
The southern sections of St Elizabeth and Southern Manchester such as Alligator Pond and Huntley were also heavily impacted, he said.
Mr. Jackson told the media and representatives of relief and donor agencies attending the press conference that to date, a total of 58 shelters housing 1, 293 persons remain open in nine parishes across the island.
Kingston and St Andrew has maintained the highest number of persons in shelters, with Clarendon having 33 persons; Manchester, 243 persons; and St. Catherine with 37 persons in shelters.
“There has been a sharp decline in the numbers since Monday, and we anticipate that this decline in the numbers will continue as we seek to get these facilities ready for the new school term,” he noted.
In the meantime, Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Faith Innerarity said that since the Ministry’s team commenced house-by-house assessments on Tuesday (Aug. 21), 10,000 assessments have been completed. She said an estimated 70,000 persons have been impacted, and the team would be “working around the clock to ensure completion.”

JIS Social