Today’s news in a nutshell!
1. Hurricane Matthew hits Florida
Hurricane Matthew has made landfall in the United States, unleashing winds of 120mph on the southeast coast of Florida. Officials have expressed concern over the possibility of storm surges and flooding, with 22,000 persons in shelters and over 400,000 left without electricity. The storm is expected to continue along Florida’s southeast coast on a path that weather experts have labelled ‘unpredictable’.
2. Over 250 deaths in Haiti
The death toll in Haiti has climbed to over 250 persons in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, with more deaths expected in coming days. There is an urgent need for food and water, and the Haitian government has estimated at least 350,000 people need some kind of assistance in what is likely to be the country’s worst humanitarian crisis since the devastating earthquake of January 2010.
Read more about Hurricane Matthew’s effect on Haiti here.
3. Jamaica’s ODPEM reaches out to Haiti
In light of the widespread destruction in Haiti after the nation was being pummelled by Hurricane Matthew’s Category 4 winds, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is making a call for Jamaicans to assist their Caribbean neighbour. The agency says organisations and individuals can send donations to its offices at 2-4 Haining Road, Kingston 5. Priority items being sought include bottled water, non-perishable food, and tarpaulins. Cash donations can be made to any branch of the National Commercial Bank (NCB), account number 21-2387304.
4. Sugar workers get to stay
The Jamaican Government is reportedly going to allow former sugar workers to remain in the new housing units at Stokes Hall near Golden Grove, St Thomas, quickly putting an end to a potential clash between authorities and the residents, who had been insisting that they would not vacate the unfinished houses after being temporarily relocated to the units last Friday to reduce risks associated with Hurricane Matthew, which, at the time, threatened the island.
5. Emergency work on collapsed Constant Spring Road
Emergency work is now under way on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew, where a collapsed sewer line caused a section of the roadway to cave in near Market Place, frightening several motorists in early morning traffic yesterday and causing lengthy delays. The collapse of the sewer line has resulted in the closure of three of five available lanes along the roadway.
6. Watch out for mosquitoes, water-borne diseases
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is appealing to Jamaicans to protect themselves from the threat of water-borne diseases, which are a very real risk at this time, in light of the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew. The Health Ministry has also warned Jamaicans to brace for an increase in the mosquito population in the next two weeks, promising to do fogging exercises in higher risk communities like Portmore.