Jamaica: Statement on hurricane Dennis the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson

A satellite image, showing the position of Hurricane Dennis at 11:00 a.m. July 07. (Courtesy of the National Hurricane Centre)

As I have said before, we are not usually faced with this severe weather condition so soon in the Hurricane Season.

Changes to the ecological system are affecting the weather pattern around the world.

The predictions are that we will have a very active Hurricane Season this year.

Preparation is key.

ODPEM is world renown for its effectiveness and capacity for disaster preparedness and management. I have full confidence in Dr. Carby and her team.

I wish to thank the EOC team here and teams that are at other centers across the island for the tremendous response so far.

Shelter Status

24 shelters open. Close to 700 persons are in shelters across the Island. Appeal to them to treat shelter with respect. Cooperate with shelter managers. Remember to back some basic items when going to shelter-blankets, food, medication and a change of clothing.

Appeal to people to open their homes and extend hand of kindness to the vulnerable-elderly, infirm, children and disabled.

Critical facilities

Out two airports and ports have been closed

NWC will operate their system as long as is practical. Decision to shut down the system will be made by the technical on the ground who are monitoring the situation. Power supply and the quality of raw water coming into the plants will determine the decisions that are taken and when. Asking Jamaicans to store enough water for at least three days.

Areas Affected

Flooding reported mainly in the Parish of St. Thomas in a number of areas such as

  • Seaforth,
  • Serge Island,
  • Hillside,
  • Trinityville,
  • Mount Lebanus,
  • Penline Castle,
  • Hagley Gap,

Bamboo River and Browns Gully are in spate.

Yallahs Fording has been inundated by the Yallahs River and is now impassable.

Law and Order

There is calm. The Police are maintaining vigilance. Asking public to cooperate with the police and report any suspicious movement to them.

Calling on Jamaicans to be sensible and practical. Make every effort to protect lives. Move animals to safe and higher grounds. Evacuate in time to prevent injury or death.