Disaster Committees Activated

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says Disaster Committees across the island have been activated to respond to emergency situations that might result from Hurricane Elsa, now in the eastern Caribbean.

He is appealing to residents in flood-prone areas to pay attention to bulletins issued by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), and the Meteorological Service Branch (Met Service).

“Don’t wait until you are impacted. The ODPEM will, over the next couple of days, open a number of lines, so that if persons are in need of assistance they can call to get information,” the Minister said while speaking in Port Maria, St. Mary, on July 1.

Mr. McKenzie informed that all the Municipal Corporations have been instructed to be in a “state of readiness” and move critical equipment to strategic points, so that they can respond to land slippages or any other problems that may occur.

“I have given instructions that where critical drains are required to be cleaned, the Municipalities take the necessary steps to do so,” the Minister said, adding that heavy rains have displaced persons in sections of Hanover, and the Ministry is monitoring areas in Bull Bay, St. Andrew, where land slippage has caused destruction. 

“We want to ensure that we do as best as we can to prevent any further loss of lives and to minimise, as best as possible, whatever damage may occur as a result of the system,” he said.

Mr. McKenzie said St. Mary is one of five priority parishes that are given special attention, due to regular flooding, and his visit was to ensure that things are in place for emergencies.

Several agency representatives and Ministry officials accompanied the Minister on the tour.

The original article was taken from Jamaica Information Service