Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Gov't responds to storm warning critics

Published:Wednesday | August 3, 2016 | 8:11 PM
McKenzie said it is the administration's will not to take any chances when it involves any weather system and added that the government will do whatever is necessary as it does not intend to play catch up.

The Andrew Holness-led administration has hit back at critics over its handling of the recent storm threat saying it was not willing to take any chance and that's why it took all the steps it did to warn Jamaicans about a possible tropical storm hit.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie told journalists at a press conference this morning that he has heard the criticisms in several quarters.

However, he said the government made its decisions based on the information from experts.

McKenzie said the administration will not to take any chances when it involves any weather system and added that the government will do whatever is necessary as it does not intend to play catch up.

The national and parish emergency operating control centres have been deactivated and shelters closed.

Meanwhile, the Met Service has sought to clarify how warnings are issued about impending weather conditions.

Evan Thompson, Head of the Metrological Service of Jamaica, told journalists that the decision to issue the tropical storm watch and subsequent warning was as a result of the conditions associated with what has now become Tropical Storm Earl.

Thompson said the Met Service was acting on behalf of the Government.

He says the warnings are issued by Jamaica and have nothing to do with the US-based National Hurricane Centre.

The Met Service has been criticised for issuing a tropical storm warning before the system became a named storm.

Floods associated with Earl were reported in Portland, St Thomas and St James.