Damage Assessment Underway in Jamaica Following Passage of Hurricane Beryl

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) says it is  conducting rapid damage and needs assessments in affected parishes to inform the authorities on the assistance to be provided in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl.

bberyleThe hurricane, which passed Jamaica’s south coast on Wednesday  as a Category four storm,  caused significant damage to property and the road network.

Communication services have also been disrupted in several parishes.

However, local telecommunications  providers Flow and Digicel have said less than 40 per cent of their services were impacted by the storm.

Concerning the worst affected parishes, the  acting Director General of ODPEM, Richard Thompson, listed them as the southern parishes of  Elizabeth and Manchester.

According to the Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, Floyd Green, based on reports received, it appears no community in his constituency was spared in the parish known as Jamaica’s bread basket.

The storm damaged critical infrastructure and property including schools.

“To be honest, I’ve had reports of damage largely, roofs being blown off,  houses being damaged, trees downed, poles down from every single community thus far. In fact, I’ve had multiple people indicating that they’ve completely lost their houses,” he told Radio Jamaica.

The hospital in the parish capital of Black River, also suffered damage to its roof and walls

Meanwhile the ODPEM’s acting director said that  the all clear for the start of restoration of services will come after the lifting of advisories by the Meteorological Service of Jamaica.

Concerning the water supply the National Water Commission (NWC)  says at least 70 per cent of its customers are without regular supply due to high turbidity levels.

Acting Corporate Public Relations Manager, Delano Williams, says several systems were also shutdown ahead of the hurricane’s passage.

According to  Williams, efforts will be made to restore water to critical areas to the parishes of Trelawny, St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland and to bring all systems back online.