By Ben Kilbey
There are reports that Hurricane Dennis has spared Jamaica the full brunt of its might and instead saturated the island with heavy rain, forcing some 2000 individuals into shelters. The eye of the storm swept some 60 kms off of the north-eastern coast of Jamaica on route to neighbouring Cuba.
Speaking with the Jamaica Gleaner yesterday, Dr. Barbara Carby, director-general of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), said the ‘poor weather was preventing the speedy delivery of vital supplies to the shelters located in 60 communities, in mostly central and eastern parishes across the island.’
The Jamaica Observer noted that even though the island was spared the full effect of the massive storm it did allow for criminals an excuse to loot and rob.
The paper wrote:
‘While nature appeared to spare Jamaica its worst, it apparently provided criminals with a cover to engage in some of theirs.
Not even journalists out covering the impact of the hurricane escaped.
RJR Communications Group said that a crew from its Television Jamaica was held up at gunpoint on the Mandela Highway and robbed of a television camera and personal items.’
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson raised concerns about flooding in a press conference held yesterday:
“The greater danger is that of flooding because even before this, the ground in many parts of the island was already saturated and for heavy rainfall to come on top of that means that we are exposed to flooding.”