St Mary hos­pi­tals to re­ceive wa­ter sup­plies

Jamaica Gleaner - - MAPPING MATTHEW -

AS HUR­RI­CANE Matthew crept closer to the is­land yes­ter­day, 240 peo­ple from St Mary had checked into the 21 shel­ters spread across the par­ish.

At the same time, mayor of Port Maria, Le­van Free­man, de­clared that the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties were ready to deal with any po­ten­tial dis­as­ter.

“What is hu­manly pos­si­ble, we have tried to en­sure that the lives and prop­er­ties of the cit­i­zens of St Mary are pro­tected,” Free­man told The Gleaner yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Matthew, the pow­er­ful Cat­e­gory Four hur­ri­cane, was ex­pected to pass close to Jamaica’s eastern coast last night into this morn­ing.

How­ever, Free­man said al­ready a num­ber of pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures had been put in place to min­imise the im­pact of the storm.

He said th­ese mea­sures were be­ing co­or­di­nated from the emer­gency op­er­a­tions cen­tre set up at the St Mary Par­ish Coun­cil.

One area of con­cern, ac­cord­ing to the mayor, are the wa­ter lev­els at the Port Maria and An­notto Bay hos­pi­tals.

“Port Maria has a 50 per cent ca­pac­ity at the mo­ment. An­notto Bay has 75 per cent, so in­struc­tions were given to per­son­nel from the (Na­tional) Wa­ter Com­mis­sion that ad­e­quate wa­ter should be given to both in­sti­tu­tions

... we have tried to en­sure that the lives and prop­er­ties of the cit­i­zens of St Mary are pro­tected.

to last three to five days,” he said.

CLEAR­ING ROAD­WAYS

Free­man said the Na­tional Works Agency has equip­ment strate­gi­cally placed across the par­ish to clear road­ways if “we are heav­ily hit”.

Re­spond­ing to com­plaints by po­lice per­son­nel in An­notto Bay that they lack crit­i­cal re­sources to op­er­ate in a dis­as­ter, the mayor said that was not brought to his at­ten­tion.

“I’m aware of the ve­hic­u­lar chal­lenge that they face,” he ac­knowl­edged.

There has been in­ter­mit­tent rain­fall in An­notto Bay, Port Maria, Bosco­bel, and other parts of St Mary since last night.

The rain­fall trig­gered ris­ing tides that flooded sev­eral homes in the in­for­mal com­mu­ni­ties of Dump Land, Pur­cell Lane, Port Arthur and Sand lanes, lo­cated along the shore.

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