Ja un­der se­vere weather alert from ‘Matthew’

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

JA­MAICA HAS been placed on alert from Trop­i­cal Storm Matthew, which was formed near the East­ern Caribbean yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Re­ports from the Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vice of Ja­maica are that up to press time, the cen­tre of Matthew was mov­ing through the Wind­ward Is­lands and over to the south­ern and cen­tral Caribbean Sea by to­mor­row.

There­after, it could move closer to Ja­maica and pose a di­rect threat to the is­land.

The Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vice has also in­di­cated that max­i­mum sus­tained winds are near 95 kilo­me­tres per hour, with higher gusts and with grad­ual strength­en­ing fore­cast dur­ing the next cou­ple of days, Matthew could be­come a hur­ri­cane by to­mor­row.

The Of­fice of Dis­as­ter Pre­pared­ness and Emer­gency Man­age­ment (ODPEM) has since alerted all agen­cies and parish dis­as­ter com­mit­tees. Emer­gency man­agers, re­spon­ders, and vol­un­teers have been placed on standby.

The pub­lic is be­ing asked to con­tinue mon­i­tor­ing the me­dia for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion and up­dates per­tain­ing to Trop­i­cal Storm Matthew.

In the mean­time, Leader of Gov­ern­ment Busi­ness in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Der­rick Smith said yes­ter­day that all 63 mem­bers of par­lia­ment should be on standby for an emer­gency meet­ing at Ja­maica House.

With the need for pos­si­ble emer­gency re­sponses to the im­pend­ing weather sys­tem, it is be­lieved that the Gov­ern­ment will dis­cuss plans to mit­i­gate the pos­si­ble ef­fects of the weather sys­tem, par­tic­u­larly in ar­eas prone to flood­ing.

At the same time, the Ja­maica Pub­lic Ser­vice last night said, in re­sponse to the ap­proach­ing sys­tem, it had ac­ti­vated its emer­gency op­er­a­tions “to fa­cil­i­tate timely re­sponse to any dam­age to its power de­liv­ery in­fra­struc­ture”.

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