PM Andrew Holness reaches Jamaica

PM Andrew Holness reaches Jamaica to pay direct, urgent attention at threatening weather conditions

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Jamaica: Prime Minister Andrew Holness reached his homeland in the midst of the Tropical Storm Watch effect on Jamaica. PM Holness said that with a weather event threatening Jamaica, among other matters which demand his direct and urgent attention, he adjusted my schedule to be back earlier (in the 77th session of UNGA).

Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Caribbean country as Tropical depression nine (9) continues to strengthen over the central Caribbean Sea while moving closer to Jamaica. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions pose a possible threat to Jamaica within the next 48 hours.

At 4:00 pm, the centre of tropical depression #9 was located near latitude 71.3 degrees west, or about 690 kilometres (430 miles) east-southeast of Kingston, or 630 kilometres (390 miles) east-southeast of Morant point, Jamaica.

The Tropical Depression is moving towards the west-northwest near 24 km/h (15 mph). A westward motion is expected to begin Friday night and continue through Saturday night, followed by a turn towards the northwest and north-northwest on Sunday.

Maximum wind speed is reaching near 55 km/h, or 35 mph, with higher gusts and some slow strengthening is forecast over the next day or so. Expectedly, the depression may become a tropical storm by tonight. More significant intensification is forecast on Sunday.

On the current forecast track. Tropical Depression #9 will move over the water south of Hispaniola on Saturday night and Sunday before heading in the direction of the Cayman Islands. All small craft operators, including fishers from the cays and banks, should by now have completed all the necessary safety precautions and are advised to remain in the safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions have returned to normal.

Interests in Jamaica should expect weather conditions to gradually begin to deteriorate with rainfall associated with the depression’s outer bands on Saturday morning. Rainfall will increase during the day and is likely to be accompanied by gusty winds by Saturday night.

The Meteorological Service continues to monitor the progress of this system, and all interests are encouraged to pay special attention to further updates by the department.