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Jamaica keeping a close eye on Chantal

KINGSTON — Jamaica’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management reported today it was paying close attention to Tropical Storm Chantal, although on its current path it is not a threat to the island.

“All parishes have been placed on alert even though the system is five days away. The ODPEM will continue to pay special attention to advisories from the meteorological office. However, if the system maintains its current track it is unlikely to affect us,” an ODPEM spokesman said yesterday.

At the same time, the National Works Agency says its stands ready to deal with any adverse weather.

“We have made necessary internal and external preparations to identify flood-prone and damaged areas. We have also developed links with the police, Red Cross and our contractors to monitor each area, give direction, reports on impassable roads, bridges and flooding while keeping contact with the government. Based on our discussion with our contractors, we will be able to quickly identify areas of damage, pre-position materials and determine what is needed for our emergency operating centre,” NWA Senior Communications Officer Collin Morrison added.

The approaching tropical storm yesterday forced the closure of schools in St. Lucia, which has been placed under a storm warning. A tropical storm warning was also in effect for Barbados, Dominica, Martinique, and Guadeloupe, while a storm watch is in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra. (Observer)

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