The Goverment warns Jamaica to prepare for Tropical Storm Isaac Impact on Friday


THE Ministry of Health is urging the country to be on the alert as the forecast model for Tropical Storm Isaac suggests that the storm might impact the island as early as Friday.

The warning came yesterday at the ministry’s quarterly media briefing in New Kingston.


Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the ministry, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, told journalists that as the system approaches the Lesser Antilles citizens must be in a constant state of readiness.

“… We are in a constant state of readiness for disasters — having an established Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services branch. We have monthly disaster management meetings [and] coordinate, at the national level through the ODPEM (Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management), with the National Disaster Committee and we coordinate with the parishes and the regions in terms of gauging their own preparedness,” Dr Bisasor-McKenzie said.

The Meteorological Service of Jamaica, in a media release yesterday, said that Isaac is expected to enter the central Caribbean Sea this weekend.

“… We have been getting our supplies in place to make sure that we have tarpaulins, raincoats, things to supply the hospitals and the regions in case it is needed. In terms of our vehicles, we keep a constant check on what is available to ensure that we know when something is needed for transportation and we know exactly where they are and how it is that we communicate,” she said.

Isaac, the fifth named storm of the season, was downgraded from hurricane status yesterday.

The CMO also mentioned the advisory issued by the Jamaica Defence Force for fishers occupying the Cays to proceed to mainland Jamaica at their earliest opportunity and of its move to evacuate its personnel from its station at Pedro Cays, and urged residents in disaster-prone areas to evacuate as soon as notified.

“All persons who are in disaster risk areas and areas that are at risk for flooding should be making their plans as to where it is that they are going to go. We have been checking on our shelters to ensure that our shelters are prepared. However, persons must know where their nearest shelter is and be prepared to go to the shelters when the warning is issued. Persons must understand what are the things that they must take with them, and their medication is key.

According to The National Hurricane Center Tropical Storm Isaac is  expected to weaken as it moves through Caribbean today

Tropical Storm Isaac’s wind speeds have slowed to 45 mph as of Thursday morning, and the National Hurricane Center predicts that the storm will gradually weaken as it heads through the Eastern Caribbean in the coming hours.

Storms that head through the Caribbean at this time of year have the potential to be steered north toward the United States.

But for Isaac, conditions in the Caribbean Sea don’t seem to be there to promote longevity. Wind shear, which refers to fluctuations in wind strength in the atmosphere, something that tears storms apart, is present in Isaac’s path.

Isaac is forecast to move into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday, and then move across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea through Saturday, the hurricane center said.

As of Thursday at 8 a.m., Isaac was about 25 miles east of Dominica, an island on the eastern rim of the Caribbean.

“This high shear is forecast to remain for the next day or two, and it is possible that Isaac will degrade into a tropical wave during that time, although the area of tropical-storm-force winds will likely not go away for a while,” said a forecast discussion by the National Hurricane Center.

“In a couple of days, while the wind shear could decrease over the east-central Caribbean Sea, there might not be much of a system left to take advantage of the more conducive conditions.”

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