MITCHELL... disaster preparedness coordinators would be monitoring what is happening

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Disaster coordinators and leaders in two south-central parishes say they are closely monitoring updates on a tropical wave which was expected to gain tropical storm strength Friday night.

The projected path of the weather system could take it closer to the southern section of the island.

Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell said the Manchester Municipal Corporation is coordinating its response in the event that the severe weather alert remains.

"In all cases our disaster preparedness coordinators would be monitoring what is happening. I have [alerted] the councillors… to look at the vulnerable persons to tell us if there is anything that may need to be done especially those who are registered poor, so at least some precautionary measures can be taken," he told the Jamaica Observer.

SANGSTER... we have all our shelters in place

The mayor pointed to low-lying and flood-prone areas in Manchester, including Alligator Pond and Porus that are prone to slippage as well.

Councillor Claudia Morant-Baker (Jamaica Labour Party, Porus Division) is questioning why a property, which is occupied by a church and school, has not been approved as a shelter.

"I need at least one more shelter to be approved in my division which would be the St Toolies New Testament Church/Alexander Basic School. I don't understand why it has not been approved, because when there is a disaster we are totally quarantined in that area. Apart from that everything else is on par," she said.

Mayor of Black River Derrick Sangster said the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation is also closely monitoring the weather system.

MORANT-BAKER... I need at least one more shelter to be approved in my division

"…We have all our shelters in place and shelter managers. Maybe some additional supplies will come in between now and the weekend, depending on the impact. We are prepared in terms of our response readiness," he said.

Disaster coordinator for St Elizabeth Ornella Lewis said discussions are ongoing among key groups for the parish to be prepared in the event of unstable weather.

"…We recently had our disaster committee meeting. We are also in dialogue with our agencies, they are on standby. We have community disaster risk management teams ready as they received some gear — water boots, raincoats and flashlights — from a project that was recently done," she said.

BY KASEY WILLIAMS Observer staff reporter kaseyw@jamaicaobserver.com

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