KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica was bracing for flooding and land slippage Sunday, despite a change in Hurricane Ernesto\’s path.
Ernesto was on a track which puts it near the north coast of Cuba and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) was in the process of making adjustments to its storm plan.
\”Over the past 12 hours, we note that the tropical storm became a hurricane and was looking at affecting primarily the northeastern parishes,\” ODPEM\’s acting Director General Ronald Jackson said. \”In that regard we asked the police to alert persons along the coasts of St. Thomas, Portland, St. Mary and St. Ann who had not yet heeded the evacuation orders from Saturday night to do so.\” He noted that because the storm bands are so wide there is still concern about the impact on the island and emergency shelters were opened and evacuation orders remained in effect.
\”We are sticking with the request for persons to still evacuate these areas, shelters have been opened in Portland and St. Mary,\” Jackson said.
Meanwhile, the management of the Sangster International Airport in the western city of Montego Bay decided against closing the facility Sunday afternoon.
The National airline Air Jamaica made several changes to its flight schedule. Airline officials said several flights leaving the Norman Manley International Airport in Kinston would depart earlier than scheduled while there would be no flights into Kingston on Sunday.