Wed | Sep 20, 2017

McKenzie reports 30 people still on the cays, two now appealling for help to evacuate

Published:Sunday | October 2, 2016 | 10:10 PM
A woman and a child from Port Arthur Lane in Annotto Bay, St Mary moving from the low-lying area before the arrival of Hurricane Matthew - Ian Allen photo

The Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie is reporting that 30 people remained on the cays despite the efforts of the Jamaica Defence Force to evacuate them with at least two fishers now appealing for help to return to the mainland.

But McKenzie, speaking a short while ago at a press conference on the impending Hurricane Matthew said the two, a father and son, called a family member on the mainland who contacted him pleading for help.

However, the minister said the safety of first responders should not be placed at risk for people who fail to heed evacuation warning.

LISTEN on Soundcloud: McKenzie says first responders will not be placed at risk http://bit.do/Evacuation

"There is a point where the Government has to start at a point where the Government has to stop," McKenzie said.

The dangerous category four Hurricane Matthew is moving towards Jamaica.

On it's forecast track, the centre of Matthew is moving away from the eastern most tip of Jamaica, but the system will dump torrential rains on Jamaica.

The Head of the Meteorological Service, Evan Thompson says storm force winds are likely tonight and will peak tomorrow afternoon.

Projected Path and Intensity

McKenzie has also issued an appeal for residents of low-lying and flood prone areas to immediately evacuate.

He says buses will be sent to Port Royal at 6 p.m and will depart at 8 p.m for the shelter at the National Arena.

According to McKenzie there is no guarantee that first responders will be able to revisit the community afterwards.

He has also highlighted Portland Cottage and Rocky Point in Clarendon; Manchioneal in Portland; and, Kintyre, Duhaney Park and New Haven in St Andrew as areas of concern.