Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has instructed all government agencies to conduct a damage assessment following Hurricane Sandy and submit a report.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon minister with responsibility for Information Senator Sandrea Falconer said the reports will be submitted to the Cabinet for discussion on Monday.
She says the assessment teams are now on the ground.
Senator Falconer also informed that the Simpson-Miller and Local Government and Community Development Minister, Noel Arscott, conducted an aerial tour of the worst affected parishes today.
She said the prime minister noted that there was extensive damage to agriculture in eastern parishes with damage to banana fields in Portland and St. Thomas.
Senator Falconer said there is no preliminary figure for the cost the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Office of the Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Ronald Jackson, said up to this afternoon, close to 1,000 people were still in 113 shelters across the island.
Jackson also said some 100 schools are being used as shelters, but he is expecting that number to fall by this evening to allow these schools to re-open for classes as soon as possible.
In the meantime, the National Works Agency, NWA, said it has received 150 reports of roadways being impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
The NWA’s Communication Manager, Stephen Shaw, says 40 percent of roads remain impassable, and another 30 percent are open to single lane traffic while others have been fully re-opened.
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