Jamaica PM: Beryl’s impact not as bad as expected

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness. –

Jamaica Prime Minster Andrew Holness says he has not got any major reports of damage or loss of life during the passage of Hurricane Beryl.

In a press conference at around 6 pm Jamaica time (7 pm in TT), Holness said the impact of the hurricane was not as bad as was predicted.

“Generally, I would say, that so far, we predicted that the eye would be passing us at around now, and that’s my understanding that it is off our coast and moving past us, and that it will be a quick-moving weather event, which is good for us: the quicker it moves, the better.

“I have not had any reports of any deaths attributed to the passing of this weather system, which is good, because, in many instances, the loss of life is not directly related to the passage of the weather incident, it is usually some act of recklessness, or some accident or some other misadventure which happens either during or after the event.”

But he said Jamaicans need to stay indoors until they are told it is safe to leave their homes.

“I would say we have not seen the worst of what could possibly happen. We still have a few hours to go, so we should maintain our position of readiness and continue to pray for Jamaica’s sake.”

Holness said he had got reports of storm surges and would need a report from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) on any damage to coastal infrastructure.

He said there were about 500 people in shelters and called on ODPEM to ensure they were properly taken care of.