The slow-motion disaster that is Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Harvey, which began last week shows no signs of easing, as I write. The storm is about to make a “second landfall” in Louisiana. Here is a press release – which I am posting somewhat belatedly – from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade regarding assistance for Jamaican citizens living in the Houston area. Thanks to the power of Twitter, the Ministry was recently able to organise the rescue of a Jamaican family. Please share the emergency numbers below, if you know of any in difficulties.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade advises that the Jamaican Consulate General in Miami, has been making enquiries to ascertain the extent of the impact of the rains and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Harvey on the Jamaican community in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas. Contact has also been made with the Office of Foreign Missions to alert them the presence of Jamaican nationals in the affected areas and to seek their assistance in providing relief efforts, as necessary.
“While the disaster is still unfolding, with an estimated Jamaican population in Houston and surrounding areas of 60,000 persons, it is likely that members of the community are located in the affected segments of the city. The Ministry is in fact already aware of persons who have been affected or will likely be affected by the floods.
In fact, yesterday (Monday, August 28), the Consul General of Jamaica to Miami and myself made contact with an at risk Jamaican family which was yesterday rescued and relocated.
The extent of damage/impact will, however, only become clearer in the coming days”, Minister Johnson Smith advises.
As the crisis continues to unfold, the following numbers may be helpful in the event of an emergency. We invite you to share them if you are in contact with persons in need of assistance and to use them if you have the relevant details which may allow for assistance to be given:
Elderly and Disabled: 211
City of Houston Help Line: 311
City of Houston Office of Emergency Management: 713-884-4500