Harvey not a direct threat but could bring heavy rain

Saturday, August 19, 2017

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THE Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has advised Jamaicans to prepare for inclement weather over the weekend into Monday as Tropical Storm Harvey, although not a direct threat, is expected to pass south of the island.

In a release yesterday, the ODPEM said that while it is not predicted that the island will experience tropical storm conditions, the weather conditions across the island could deteriorate. “With this will come the possibility of poor sea conditions on the south coast, flooding in low-lying areas, and landslides in hilly terrain. Jamaicans are advised to take the necessary precautions and continue to monitor credible media sources,” the state disaster preparedness agency said.

The ODPEM urged Jamaicans to take the necessary precautions and to continue to monitor the situation, noting that persons in low-lying or flood-prone areas should be ready to evacuate if necessary, and should decide on likely evacuation routes. Pedestrians and motorists are also reminded to avoid flooded gullies, streams, and rivers.

Yesterday afternoon the meteorological service said that at 4:00 pm the centre of Tropical Storm Harvey was located near latitude 13.4 degrees north, longitude 62.9 degrees west, or 650 km south south-east of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The system was said to be moving toward the west near 33 kilometres per hour, and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

The centre of Harvey is expected to move through the central Caribbean sea today into Sunday, with slow strengthening forecast over 48 hours.

“Although the centre of Tropical Storm Harvey is forecast to pass south of Jamaica, the island is expected to experience cloudy conditions with showers and thunderstorms mainly on Sunday and Monday. As a result of the passage of Tropical Storm Harvey, windy conditions are also expected over mainly southern parishes Sunday through Monday,” the Met Service said.

Marine interests, especially small craft operators on the cays and banks, were advised to move to safe harbour as the system passes south of the island.

In the meanwhile, authorities in the eastern Caribbean warned residents to stay indoors as Tropical Storm Harvey brought heavy winds and rain to the area yesterday, on a path expected to take it to Central America next week.

Harvey was expected to cross through St Vincent and the Grenadines and then over the Caribbean Sea. A tropical storm warning was also in effect for Martinique and St Lucia.

— Observer and AP reports

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