Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 4th 2016 Contents RADHICA DE SILVA
Trinis living in Jamaica got a couple more hours
to prepare for Hurricane Matthew yesterday, as the
category four storm slowed its pace and changed
its catastrophic strike towards Haiti on Monday
night into Tuesday.
Retired teacher Annette Rampair, a Trinidadian
who has been living in Kingston, Jamaica, for the
past 40 years, said up to 3 pm there were no strong
winds in the capital city and Jamaica officials were
continuing to plead with people from the eastern
coasts to evacuate their homes.
"The Met Office has been updating us very fre-
quently and we are expecting the worst to come in
later," Rampair said.
She said the Office of Disaster Preparedness and
Emergency Management has been working with the
Jamaican Public Service Company and the Water
Commission to assist in evacuation.
"The supermarkets are packed and people are still
purchasing tinned food and bottled water. We have
a problem in the fishing villages at Pedro Quays
where people don't want to evacuate their homes
because they are afraid of looting," Rampair said.
"Government is begging them to leave. About 900
schools and churches have been set up as shelters.
People who live along the gulley banks have also
been evacuated," Rampair added.
She said the Jamaican authorities have been prepar-
ing for Matthew since last week Tuesday.
"People on the mountainside have been alerted to
get a shelter. They have arranged buses to take them
to the Stadium and the Arena at Kingston. The home-
less are being picked up and put in shelters but some
of them don't want to go because they like to be on
the streets. Police have doubled up with the army
to prevent looting," Rampair added.
Asked whether she was worried about the impend-
ing storm, Rampair said she was more concerned
that after the devastation of the hurricane, the
Jamaican economy would suffer.
Meanwhile, chemistry lecturer at the University
of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Debbie Ann Gor-
don Smith, said the campus was closed since Saturday
until further notice.
"We had classes up until Saturday but from Friday
the administration asked us to secure all electronics
and items in case of any leaks. They put up shutters,"
Gordon-Smith also said the eastern mountainous
part of Jamaica will be worst hit.
"I was worried when the hurricane became a cat-
egory five. I think we are prepared but I am concerned
for the people of Haiti," Gordon-Smith added.
Up to press time, the Associated Press reported
two deaths in Haiti, bringing the total for the storm
to at least four.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said
Matthew had sustained winds of 140 mph as it moved
north, up from 130 mph earlier in the day. The eye
of the hurricane was expected to pass just east of
Jamaica and near or over the southwestern tip of
Haiti early Tuesday before heading to eastern Cuba.
JENSEN LA VENDE
Two months after forensic pathol-
ogist Dr Valery Alexandrov com-
plained of being overworked and
understaffed, his former colleague
Dr Hughvon Des Vignes has been
re-hired to assist with the work-
Des Vignes had refused to renew
his contract prior to a one-man
protest at the Forensic Science Centre
(FSC) by Alexandrov demanding bet-
ter working conditions. He had only
stated that he would return when
"certain criteria" were met.
Yesterday, he returned to work hav-
ing ironed out those hiccups. Alexan-
drov was initially scheduled to work
this week but as Des Vignes returns
he will now be working next week,
giving each of the three pathologists
two weeks off.
On August 2 after working for five
straight weeks since the other pathol-
ogist on staff, Dr Eslyn Mc Donald-
Burris, left for a two-week vacation
and the non-renewal of Des Vignes'
contract, Alexandrov downed his
Alexandrov complained that he
was understaffed based on interna-
tional standards which required one
mortuary assistant for every 100 cases
and so far there had been 1,200 cases
done at the FSC for the year. To date
there are five attendants with three
of them being women.
Alexandrov had described the
working conditions at the centre as
worse than slavery. He said the staff
was insufficient and because he was
the only working pathologist for four
weeks and the only one scheduled
for another two weeks, he was almost
certain he would breach the threshold
of 350 autopsies allowed to be per-
formed by any pathologist before
they were stripped of their abilities
to do so.
"This is a tough job lifting dead
bodies and what not. There is a need
for a legal mortuary attendant to han-
dle all the legal documents. Instead
what we have is a radiologist and on-
the-job trainees," Alexandrov said
Following his protest action, the
Minister of National Security Edmund
Dillon, under whose purview the cen-
tre falls, said the Government was in
the process of recruiting more staff.
He admitted the field of forensic sci-
ence was not an attractive one but
scholarships would be provided and
in the short-term there were plans
to extend existing contracts and hire
new skilled labour.
Two weeks after his protest, three
temporary employees have been hired
to assist Alexandrov and other
pathologists. The three, all women,
are said to be two on-the-job trainees
and one intern. In addition to the
staffing increase, cases of accidents
and in some cases drownings have
been referred to the Port-of-Spain
General Hospital for autopsies.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 4, 2016
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for OCTOBER 03RD, 2016
T&T nationals 'safe'
T&T s High Commissioner to
Jamaica, Fitzgerald Jeffrey, said
nationals of this country in Jamaica
are safe and their whereabouts
This is as concerns have been raised
about the safety of T&T students and
T&T nationals living in Jamaica.
This assurance, Jeffrey said, was
based on a register compiled by his
commission's office as Jamaica braces
itself for the onslaught of Hurricane
He said at the University of the West
Indies at Mona there were designated
centres for students staying on cam-
"Nationals of T&T who are in
Jamaica are in safe surroundings. Stu-
dents who are off campus are also
safe," Jeffrey said, adding that he visited
the centres himself.
He said there were about 700 T&T
nationals living in Jamaica with some
400 being students.
An evacuation plan, Jeffrey said, has
already been organised if needed.
He said there were some parts of
Jamaica already experiencing heavy
Dionne Ligoure, head of corporate
communications at Caribbean Airlines,
said about six more flights were yes-
She said due to the severe weather
conditions flights to and from Jamaica
were cancelled, with the services mostly
affected being those operating from
Montego Bay to North America includ-
ing JFK and Fort Lauderdale. Trinis in Jamaica
brace for Matthew
T&T nationals attending the UWI Mona campus in Jamaica pass the time as they brace for the arrival of
Hurricane Matthew, which is expected to make landfall today. The students Hakeem Charles, left, Shane
Jacelon, Keron Alexander, Chan Ashing and Godwin James.
Des Vignes back on the job
A 21-year-old Barataria man was gunned down
According to police reports, around 2.30 pm res-
idents of Upper Tenth Street, Malick, Barataria, heard
gunshots and called police. Officers arrived and found
a bleeding Charlton Huggins, of Sixth Avenue, Malick.
He was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences
Complex where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
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