Sat | Sep 23, 2017

No food, no mattress ... 101-year-old St Thomas resident at hurricane shelter appeals for help

Published:Sunday | October 2, 2016 | 10:57 PM
Aaron Mowatt, a resident of Bamboo River, St Thomas with his grand-daughter at the Morant Bay Primary School in the parish - Rudolph Brown photo

Jovan Johnson, Staff Reporter

MORANT BAY, St Thomas:
Eight adults, including a centenarian, sheltering at the Morant Bay Primary in St Thomas are pleading to the authorities for critical items such as beds before the eastern parish begins to feel the full effects of Hurricane Matthew.

"Mi nuh si nuh food come yah," Aaron Mowatt, 101, told The Gleaner adding that he left his home in Duhaney Pen last night for the shelter because of fears for his safety.

"Nothing nuh deh yah. Not even a mattress. Just di bench," said Vincent Lovelace, another resident at the shelter.

"Wi need sumpmn fi tonight," said Lovelace who is from Bamboo River.

St Thomas is among eastern parishes expected to feel the wrath of Hurricane Matthew, now a category four storm heading towards Jamaica.

Everton McFarlane said he heard the news and immediately left his dwelling in Brown's Gully for the shelter.

"Dat (Brown's Gully) carry water more dan  di whole world. Mi hear the news and mi run come up here," he said.

The residents have taken small bags of clothes and food to the shelter but this may not be enough to last.

There was no shelter manager at the school during The Gleaner's visit.

Martina Medley, the St Thomas Parish Disaster coordinator, said the school is one 51 official shelters and efforts will be made to assist the pleading residents.

She said persons are advised to take certain items with them to shelters but the parish council provides some essential ones.

"We supply them with cots, blankets and other key things and we ask them to take supplies to last 72 hours.


IN PHOTO:  As Hurricane Matthew approaches, residents of Bamboo River, St Thomas wait outside the Morant Bay Primary School shelter. 

Up to 1 o'clock this afternoon, Medley said there were 20 people in shelters across the parish.

However, she said the figure could be higher as residents may use other public buildings.

jovan.johnson@gleanerjm.com