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Third Anniversary Of Hurricane Ivan’s Impact On Jamaica, September 10-11, 2007

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ISSUED ON: Monday, September 10, 2007 at 2:30 p.m.

Monday, September 10 marks the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Ivan, which affected the Island in 2004.

Hurricane Ivan began its traverse near Jamaica on Friday, September 10, scattering light to moderate showers over territorial waters to the north and south of the island. Heavy rainfall and violent winds continued across the island and over adjacent waters throughout September 11. The strongest wind speeds, estimated at about 180 km/hr, were reached as the eye of Ivan passed close to the island’s south coast, causing sections of southern parishes being directly affected by the activity within the hurricane’s eye-wall. Rainfall activity was also observed on September 12 over most parishes, but with decreasing intensity throughout the day.

Significant storm surges also impacted sections of Jamaica, particularly along the southern coastal areas. With the centre of the hurricane passing so close to the coastline, high tides as well as dangerous battering waves driven by the system’s southeasterly winds in its most intense quadrant, affected communities close to the shore. Significant coastal damage was done to several communities in the parish of St. Thomas, Caribbean Terrace in St. Andrew, and Portland Cottage in Clarendon.

Hurricane Ivan left 18 persons dead in Jamaica, and significant damage to agricultural crops, buildings and infrastructure. The total impact of Ivan on Jamaica amounted to US$580 million. The total amount of damage and losses is equivalent to 8 per cent of the country’s GDP for the previous year, which provides a measure of the magnitude of the disaster for the island.

On this the anniversary of Hurricane Ivan the public is reminded that we are now in what is statistically the busiest section of the hurricane season. At this time most preparedness measures should be complete. The following checklist serves as a reminder:

For all residents

* Review your family disaster plans and ensure that all members of the family are aware of it.
* Check roofs and have them repaired if necessary.
* Have on hand hurricane shutters and/or other material for securing windows and doors.
* Trim trees that overhang or are close to buildings
* Check your emergency supplies and have them restocked where necessary.
* Remove all loose objects from your yard and have them properly secured.
* Make arrangements for shelter with relatives and friends.
* Know where your nearest emergency shelter is located.
* Know the safest evacuation route from your home.

For businesses

* Revise disaster plans and carry out drills.
* Have on hand plastic bags to secure vital records, documents and electronic equipment.
* Have on hand hurricane shutters and/or other material for securing windows and doors.
* Check to ensure that your insurance coverage is up to date.
* Review mutual aid agreements.

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