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The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is reporting that the water levels are rising in the community of New River in St. Elizabeth. According to the St. Elizabeth Parish Disaster Coordinator, eight houses have been flooded and four families have evacuated to friends and relatives. The St. Elizabeth Parish Disaster Committee will however continue to monitor the situation.
The Wanstead Main Road leading into New River is now inundated and is inaccessible. The Brighton Road, which is used as an alternative route into the community, is in very poor condition and motorists and pedestrians are being asked to exercise extreme caution when using this route. Also in St. Elizabeth, the road leading from Newmarket to Darliston is presently inundated. Motorists are being advised to use the alternative route. In addition, the main access road to the community of Thornton is also inundated. The St. Elizabeth Parish Disaster Committee is advising that only large vehicles may access this community.
In a bid to provide assistance to affected communities, assessments commenced on a wide scale today. Welfare Teams which comprises agencies such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS), Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the Jamaica Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Poor Relief are currently on the ground conducting assessments in some affected communities.
Four shelters remain open housing 103 persons. In St. Catherine, there are 44 persons sheltering at the Gwen Neil Basic School in Central Village and the Bushy Park Seventh Day Adventist Church, while in Clarendon, a total of 59 persons are located at the Halse Hall Basic and Toll Gate All Age schools. Relief Assistance continued today to communities in the hilly regions of St. Thomas. Food and Emergency supplies were delivered to the following areas:
. Ness Castle. Penlyne Castle. Hagley Gap
Several communities in St. Catherine, which were impacted by flooding also received food deliveries from the Parish Welfare Teams today.
In Cave Valley in St. Ann, the water levels have receded completely. However in Moneague, the water levels continue to rise.
Turning to other weather developments, the Meteorological Service has reported that Tropical Depression 25, formed this morning and was located near latitude 16.1 degrees north, longitude 68.0 degrees west, about 335 km southeast of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The system is moving toward the west-northwest and the forecast track does not bring it over Jamaica. The public however is advised to monitor the media for any changes in the weather situation. The ODPEM and the Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the progress of the system.