Jamaica Declares Disaster Week And Curfew Ahead Of Hurricane Beryl.

Photo: Adrian Walker, Jamaica Information Service. Premier Andrew Holness has declared a weeklong state of emergency in Jamaica.
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Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, has declared Jamaica a disaster area for the next seven days as Hurricane Beryl approaches the island.

He made the announcement during a national broadcast on Tuesday evening (July 2).

“After careful review of the trajectory of the storm, the likely strength and impact, the potential threats emanating, and having been notified in writing by the Minister responsible for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, I am now declaring the whole of Jamaica to be a Disaster Area, in accordance with section 26 of the Disaster Risk Management Act, for the next seven days,” the Prime Minister said.

The measure will remain in force until July 10 and may be cited as the Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (Hurricane Beryl) Order 2024.

Following on the declaration, an islandwide curfew will be in effect from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday (July 3).

The Prime Minister said the curfew is to ensure the safety of everyone during the passage of the storm and prevent any movement with the intent to carry out criminal activity.

Under the Order, except for specified persons, everyone is directed to remain at an abode or place of residence (which includes a national shelter) during the designated hours.

The exempted persons are: authorised police officers and emergency services staff,  the holder of any of the following offices – the Governor-General, a Member of either House of Parliament, Mayors and Councillors of Municipal Corporations, and Permanent Secretaries.

Prime Minister Holness further advised that an Evacuation Order is in effect for flood and landslide prone zones, areas at or below sea level, and areas at or close to gullies or waterways.

The Prime Minister urged all Jamaicans to comply with notices to evacuate, if and when they are issued.

“However, even without the issuance of a notice, if you live in a low-lying area, an area historically prone to flooding and landslide, or you live on the banks of a river or gully, I implore you to evacuate to a shelter or to safer ground,” he implored.

Meanwhile, Mr. Holness informed that the Minister with Responsibility for Commerce will make an Order under Section 8 of the Trade Act, to prevent price gouging of essential goods during a period of disaster.

He urged Jamaicans to take the hurricane seriously, remain calm and acquire information from credible news sources.

Details of the Orders will be gazetted, published in the media and posted on various government websites.

Source: Jamaica Government Information Service.
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