Matthew Perez

Jamaica's Prime Minister Preparing Island Nation for Hurricane Matthew

The projected path of Hurricane Matthew is expected impact the central and eastern parishes of Jamaica. The prime minister said the approaching Category 4 hurricane will almost certainly trigger evacuations on the island.

Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness, visited some of the island's most vulnerable areas Saturday.

Briefed on the challenges, Holness is doing what needs to be done to prepare for Hurricane Matthew.

Early Saturday, Holness stopped by the agency that maintains the country's infrastructure.

"They've assured that they pre positioned equipment and manpower just in case of any eventualities," Holness said.

He said last time a major storm hit the island it took months to recover.

The prime minister believes the country is better prepared now to handle a significant storm like Hurricane Matthew.

"The marker for hurricane impact in recent times is Hurricane Gilbert and I was around then; I'm certain that Jamaica is much better prepared," Holness said.

Across the island, grocery stores were packed with long lines of people grabbing everything from water to kerosene cans.

Everyone we spoke with had weathered a powerful storm before.

"It's kind of scary when you heard that it went from a Category 4 to 5 then, that's when it became really serious but for the most part I'm not really worried that much," said Basil Bryan. "Still got to prepare."

Shoppers knew from experience to prepare as best as possible.

"An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of recovery," Holness said.

The prime minister said hurricane shelters are up and running Saturday and stocked with supplies.

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