Jamaica hit by widespread flooding
Jamaica has been hit by widespread flooding and a flash-flood warning has been issued for ten parishes, according to media reports.
However, the president of the Jamaica Association of Bermuda said it was still too early to determine the full extent of the damage. With utilities and communications services affected, Orville Campbell urged Bermuda residents who are concerned about friends and family in Jamaica to stay abreast of developments through the news.
The flooding comes after a trough brought large amounts of rain three weeks ago. After heavy rains overnight, the meteorological service of Jamaica extended a flash-flood warning for low-lying and flood-prone areas of St Mary, Portland, St Thomas, Kingston, rural St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St Elizabeth and Westmoreland, and a flash-flood watch for low-lying and flood-prone areas of Hanover, St James, Trelawny and St Ann. These will be in effect until 5pm in Jamaica.
Mr Campbell told The Royal Gazette that Jamaica regularly experiences flooding. But he said this was “abnormal” because of the time of year and the widespread nature of the flooding.
“I am actually in the process of getting information,” said Mr Campbell.
He added that he was able to speak to his parents, who live in a rural part of St Andrew parish, via mobile phone today and said they had been out of power since last night. He was able to relay some information to them about the extent of the flooding.
Bridges have been damaged, roads have been blocked and landslides have been reported, with Clarendon parish the worst hit. Several areas are also without water as a result of high turbidity levels, blocked intakes and access, dislocated pipelines and power supply problems that have forced the shutdown of water supply facilities. The Jamaica Gleaner reported that 30 people were rescued from flood waters in Sunnyside, Linstead, by a team from the Jamaica Defence Force air wing assisted by the Jamaica fire brigade and police.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Observer said the local Government had allocated Ja$175 million (about $1.35 million) in emergency funding to address critical infrastructure repairs in six of the parishes worst affected.
Many customers in Kingston and the parishes of St Andrew, Clarendon, St James, St Ann and St Mary are without electricity.
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