Monday, April 22, 2024

Officials in Jamaica assess damage from Tropical Storm Grace

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Kingston – Teams from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) are assessing the extent of damage sustained by the agriculture sector from the heavy rains associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Grace.

While Jamaica escaped the full wrath of the system, the eastern part of the island was drenched during the storm’s passage on Tuesday.

“We have dispatched teams from RADA across the island to meet with the farmers to see what is the sort of damage that has been done on the ground,” Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green said.

“We have been getting preliminary reports of damage in parishes like St Mary, Portland, and the central part of the country. But we are still waiting to quantify some of those estimates of damage.”

Green further noted stakeholder concerns regarding damage that the high wind accompanying Tropical Storm Grace may have had on the banana sector.

“I did speak with Jamaica Producers this morning and the Member of Parliament for Southeast St Mary, which has a significant banana growers’ population,” he said, while indicating that a clearer picture of any resulting damage was expected in short order.

Meantime, director of the Meteorological Service Branch Evan Thompson has urged Jamaicans to remain vigilant, as the Caribbean enters the peak of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

“We are still in the middle of the hurricane season, and anything could develop at any time. So, it is important that all our residents pay special attention to information as soon as it is sent out,” he said.

In relation to Tropical Storm Grace, he noted that “it was remarkable how many persons, even after a tropical storm warning was issued for Jamaica, didn’t even know that there was ever a tropical storm watch that was put in place for the island . . . for over 24 hours”.

“So, there are many members of the public who are not paying attention to the news [or] what is developing in our waters,” Thompson added.

The tropical storm warning was lifted on Wednesday morning, as the system moved away from the island. (CMC)

A more than 40-year-old fruit tree snapped, smashing the roof and bulldozing a zinc and board home in Jamaica early Wednesday morning. (Jamaica Gleaner)

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