JIS News

All schools will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday as rains associated with Hurricane Wilma are expected to continue for the next 36-48 hours. An assessment will be carried out on Thursday to determine if schools will reopen on Friday.
The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the National Disaster Committee called by Prime Minister Patterson at Jamaica House this morning (October 18, 2005). The Prime Minister was updated on the damage caused by the hurricane and the relief measures that are in place to allow for an effective response.
The Prime Minister instructed that food supplies be distributed to persons who have been cut off. He said that the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) should provide assistance in this regard. In addition, all parish Emergency Operation Centres will be activated as a local response mechanism.
The National Works Agency is to work to re-open those roads that are vital to persons who need to conduct their business as well as allow for access to markets. The NWA will, as a first priority, clear the roads to allow for single lane traffic.
Several of the island’s main roads in St. Thomas, St. Catherine, St. Mary, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Andrew, St. James and Hanover have been affected by flooding, landslide and break a ways. The Prime Minister reiterated that more substantial work on the roads must await the end of the hurricane season.
Attending the meeting were Minister of Land and Environment, Dean Peart, Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill, Dr. Barbara Carby, Director General, ODPEM, Mrs. Sonia McGill, head of the Meteorological Services and representatives of the Ministries of Education, Labour and Social Security, Local Government, Youth and Community Development, National Water Commission, Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Ms. Babsy Grange representing the Opposition.