PM Triggers National Emergency Systems as Rains Batter the Island

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has instructed that all national emergency systems be activated as heavy rain continues to affect many sections of the island.

The emergency agencies include the National Works Agency (NWA) and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), as well as local representatives.

The prime minister says all the agencies should mobilize their resources to deal with the impact of the extraordinary rain, and support residents who may need help in flooded areas.

The Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr. Horace Chang, is in charge of the government while Prime Minister Holness is on official business in the Dominican Republic.

The government is urging people to be on high alert as the rain is expected to continue throughout the day.

Extensive flooding has so far been reported in St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Thomas and St. Ann.

And, Dr. Horace Chang, is to make a statement this afternoon on the emergency processes that have been activated and the preliminary assessment of damage.

He was initially scheduled to make the statement in Parliament.

However, today’s meeting of the House of Representatives has been canceled.

The island remains under a Flash Flood Warning for low-lying and flood-prone areas.

The National Meteorological Service issued the warning for St. Mary, Portland, St. Thomas, Kingston, St.Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland.

A Flash Flood Watch also remains in effect for low-lying and flood-prone areas of Hanover, St. James, Trelawny, and St. Ann and is effective until 5 this evening.