Sun | Jan 19, 2020

PM to address nation tonight

Published:Thursday | November 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Workers at The Missionaries of the Poor batten down in preparation for Tropical Storm Tomas at their North Street, Kingston, facility yesterday. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Prime Minister Bruce Golding is slated to address the nation between 8 and 9 tonight as the Government tries to ensure that Jamaicans are as ready as possible to face the unpredictable weather system dubbed Tomas.

Golding is returning to the island this afternoon and will immediately take charge of the preparations for the storm threat.

The prime minister is coming from Barbados, where he attended the funeral of that country's late prime minister, David Thompson.

While in Barbados, Golding was able to see, first hand, the danger of Tomas, which ravaged that island late last week.

Back home, with the possible wrath of Tomas fresh in his mind, Golding will immediately meet with the critical disaster-response agencies to assess the emergency measures implemented since he last met with them on Monday.

Golding will also be looking for an update on the response and recovery plans which have been prepared.

After that meeting, the prime minister will travel to the emergency medical centre set up by the Ministry of Health before going to St Thomas and Portland to look at the state of preparations for the system.

Tomas preparations

In preparation, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management has stocked approximately 150 priority shelters (of a total of 900 shelters islandwide) with roughly two days worth of supplies, including non-perishable food, cots and blankets.

Communities such as Chigwell in Hanover and New River in St Elizabeth are also top priority. Residents of these communities might be assisted in evacuating the area.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force says it will be working to prevent looting and vandalism in Jamaica's business districts and communities that have been evacuated. Government property will also be secured.

Persons are asked to report criminal activities to the police and keep numbers of the nearest police stations close by.