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TS Eta wreaks havoc on Jamaica’s fragile road infrastructure

Heavy rains following the re-emergence of Tropical Storm Eta in the Caribbean sea over the weekend wreaked further damage to the island’s fragile infrastructure, with reports of extensive damage to the road network.

Roads in all 14 parishes have been impacted by the system which saw Jamaica receiving between 1 to 3 inches of rain as a result of TS Eta.

In addition to road networks being destroyed, landslides in St Thomas and East rural St Andrew have been reported.

The island’s road network had already been in dire need of repair following the passage of Tropical Storm Zeta, two weeks earlier which is expected to cost the government over  2 billion to repair.

[Note: First Video in reel showcases a landslide in Central America as a result of Eta, which was then a Hurricane]

Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the parliament on October 28 that no new funds would be made available for road repairs, noting that the supplementary budget had already been tabled.

Instead, Holness noted that funds would have to be reallocated, asking ministers to take a look at their budgets.

“This is now about each ministry, each minister, each permanent secretary, going through their budget, line item by line item, to see what it is that we can reallocate, and this will be supervised by the Ministry of Finance,” Holness told parliamentarians.

Holness also noted that money from the annual Christmas work programme which usually covers de-bushing,drain cleaning and road patching would be distributed early.

Holness further noted that an allocation of J$1.5 million from the Housing Fund would made available to each Member of Parliament to assist with repairs to houses of constituents damaged as a result of Zeta.

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