The Office of the Prime Minister says the government has mobilized the Disaster Assistance Response Team, DART, to be dispatched to assist the hurricane-ravaged, neighbouring islands of The Bahamas.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who has pledged to support the Bahamas in the wake of the disaster, has placed the DART on standby to be on the ground in Abaco and Grand Bahama, the two worst-hit areas.
OPM says Prime Minister Holness has been in constant touch with the Prime Minister of the Bahamas Hubert Minnis, who indicated that Bahamian officials are doing their assessment.
Once the initial assessment is complete Jamaica will be able to provide assistance.
DART consists of members of the Jamaica Defence Force, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and other response agencies.
It will help to address issues of need in search, rescue, assessment and restoration of infrastructure damage, offer relief supplies and assist in rebuilding efforts.
In the meantime, OPM says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been in constant contact with the consulate in the Bahamas and updated on the Jamaican population there.
The University of the West Indies, UWI, says it’s also readying tactical support for the country.
UWI Vice Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles, says the extreme vulnerability of our region is now finally globally recognized as a threat caused by climate change and global warming.
He also says the University is urging policy framers to fast track the application of science in building out the region’s resilience.