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The latest from Jamaica:

(Forimmediaterelease.net) The government of Jamaica has downgraded the hurricane warning to a tropical storm warning as Hurricane Dean moves farther away from the island. The TS warning is likely to be lowered early this afternoon.

The Jamaica Tourist Board reports

o There’s minimal damage to the north coast (resort areas)
o The airport in Montego Bay is currently opened for emergencies
o Both airports (Kingston and Montego Bay) are expected to re open for commercial flights at about 1:00 p.m. local time (2:00 p.m. EDT)
o There are an estimated 10,000 guests in hotels, most opted to stay and ride the storm
o Cellular phones are working but it may be difficult to get through


JPS assessment in this afternoon
The Jamaica Public Service Company (the power company) says the results of preliminary assessments in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean should be available by 1:30 p.m. local time.
JPS Corporate Communications Manager Winsome Callum says emergency teams have been deployed islandwide to conduct the assessments.

NWC update
The National Water Commission, NWC says it has begun assessments of water systems that are currently out of operation. Corporate Communications Manager at the NWC, Charles Buchanan says teams have begun to identify water systems which can be immediately be put back into operation. However he says some will require electricity to be fully functional. In the meantime, Mr. Buchanan says water will also be restored on a priority basis.

MOH update
The Ministry of Health has advised that all public hospitals in the northeast Region are now offering full services. These are the St Ann’s Bay, Port Antonio, Port Maria and Annotto Bay Hospitals. The Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover is also now offering full service.
The Ministry says the hospitals in the rest of the island are still currently only offering inpatient and emergency services.

jjohnrose@caribtourism.com

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