The Jamaican Government has postponed the planned reopening of several schools under a pilot project on Monday because of the inclement weather and the possibility of flooding across the island.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information in a statement said given prevailing weather conditions, the planned reopening of 17 schools on the pilot face-to-face in-school teaching has been postponed.
The ministry said the decision to postpone the opening follows an advisory from the National Meteorological Service that a flash flood warning is in effect for all parishes. The ministry said it will provide an update on Tuesday.
The schools were selected from a group of 73 deemed to be at low risk for coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission. All schools selected are required to observe the COVID-19 protocols, including temperature checks, distance markers, social-distancing practices and installing hand-sanitiser stations. Additionally, the wearing of masks will be mandatory.
Several parishes in Jamaica have been hard hit by the heavy rains associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Eta that will gradually move away from the Florida Keys and south Florida on Monday.
Over the weekend, two days of severe weather caused mass flooding, landslides and destruction to several roads across the island, especially in the eastern parishes of Kingston St. Andrew and St. Thomas.
Videos and images on social media showed sections of the Gordon Town main road in St. Andrew having collapsed due to the heavy rainfall.
#Update Roadways in the St Andrew communities of Mavis Bank, Irish Town, Gordon Town and Cottage Hill have been severely impacted and are inaccessible to vehicles in some areas.
The Rock Hall to James Mountain road is also being impacted.
Extreme caution is advised. pic.twitter.com/0nBlU2nNxT
— Jamaica Constabulary Force (@JamaicaConstab) November 8, 2020
The Meteorological Service Division, says a flash flood warning remains in place for southern parishes.