Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Jamaicans in diaspora on edge

Published:Tuesday | October 4, 2016 | 10:06 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston

Jamaicans at home are not the only ones concerned about the impact of Hurricane Matthew on the island. Their relatives in the diaspora are on edge as storm conditions intensify.

The Gleaner spoke with a few, who expressed the hope that the hurricane would not deal the island a significant blow.

Althea Spence-Turner, who hails from Westmoreland and grew up in Kingston, is worried about her 101-year-old aunt, who is living in Kingston, as well as her cousins and in-laws in Westmoreland.

"I am very concerned about their well-being given that the hurricane is moving very slowly and is expected to dump lots of water on the island," she said.

Spencer-Turner is thanking God for mediums such as Power 106, the Gleaner website, and social media, which she said have been very helpful.

"Through WhatsApp, I have the list of emergency centres, so, at least, this will be very helpful," she said.

Spence-Turner, who said she has already sent cash to ensure her relatives stock up on food supplies, told The Gleaner that depending on the level of devastation, she would be ready to provide more assistance.

Andrea 'Elaine' Jarrett from Westmoreland, who now lives in Mt Vernon, New York, and Donovan Longmore from out of Hartford, Connecticut, and who hails from Montego Bay, said they are in daily contact and keeping up to date with information.

Jarrett said her biggest concern "is loss of lives and extensive property damage".

"My biggest concern is the damage that can occur from the hurricane and the safety of the people," Longmore shared, adding that he stood ready to offer assistance.

Dave Brown, who is originally from Linstead in St Catherine and who now lives in Ontario, Canada, is very anxious about his father, who still resides in Linstead, St Catherine.

Monitoring radio reports and social media doesn't lessen the anxiety as he is fearful about the impact on the town and his father, in particular.