Tue | Dec 6, 2016

Riverton landfill smoke could force closure of more schools tomorrow

Published:Sunday | March 15, 2015 | 5:19 PM
Latoya Walters (centre) escorts children home in Seaview Gardens, St Andrew last week as they struggle to cope with smoke coming from the Riverton City landfill.

‎KINGSTON, Jamaica‎:
Government officials are reporting that more schools could be closed Monday because of continued smoke from the Riverton City landfill in St Andrew.

On Friday, some 50 schools were closed.

At a press conference in Kingston this afternoon, the permanent secretary in the education ministry, Elaine Foster Allen, said the decision to close additional schools tomorrow will be dependent on environmental conditions as well as the forecast from the Meteorological Service.

In the meantime, Dr Marion Bullock-Ducasse, the director of emergency response in the health ministry, ‎has reported that since Friday, some 642 people have visited medical facilities in the Corporate Area with respiratory complaints.

The majority of patients, as many as 345, turned up on Friday.

On Saturday, some 233 people showed and up to midday Sunday, there were 64 visits.

The state minister for local government, Collin Fagan,who is coordinating the Riverton response efforts, has again apologised for the smoke nuisance in Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine.

He said at this point, the focus is to extinguish the fire, ‎however, the Government is considering divesting the ‎Riverton City disposal site.

And the director general of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Clive Davis, told the press conference that fire officials believe they have now contained the blaze to the south of the disposal site.