Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Met Service issues Isaac warning

Published:Saturday | September 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer

Tropical Storm Isaac, which is projected to weaken to a tropical depression tomorrow when its forecast path will take it south of Jamaica, will still pose a serious threat to life and property, according to the Meteorological Service, which has issued a severe weather alert for all parishes for Sunday through to Monday.

A duty forecaster yesterday urged Jamaicans to keep abreast of regular updates on the system and to take seriously the potential threat from Isaac, even as a tropical depression. The duty forecaster pointed out that the showers and thunderstorms associated with the system are expected to dump 50-100 millimetres (two to four inches) of rainfall or as much as 150 millimetres (six inches), in some cases, on the island. This could result in flash flooding over low-lying and flood-prone areas.

With heavy showers forecast to affect the entire island, fishers and other marine interests are advised to exercise extreme caution as sea conditions will deteriorate in the vicinity of showers, thunderstorms, and strong gusty winds while Isaac moves over the waters south of Jamaica.

EXERCISE CAUTION

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is advising the public to exercise extreme caution in areas close to swamps, rivers, gullies, and other known crocodile habitats as the animals are likely to be displaced during the heavy rains.

The agency is urging the public to report crocodile sightings by calling 876-754-7540 or toll-free at 888-991-5005, or to call 119 or make a report to the nearest police station.

The NEPA is also warning Jamaicans not to provoke crocodiles, "as these sensitive creatures may become defensive if cornered or attacked".

Crocodiles are an endangered animal species and it is an offence under the Wild Life Protection Act to possess, hunt, kill, capture, or willfully molest these animals. Individuals found guilty of any of these offences face a maximum fine of $100,000 or one year imprisonment.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com