Jamaica was hit by an enormous amount of rain last week – 12 inches of rain in 36 hours, according to Gwion, our Water Ambassador, in the rain gauge at the Ambassador house.
Everyone is fine in the Gap for the moment and there is enough food, although electricity is out and cell phone coverage is sporadic. Luckily, we have no reports of injuries or of houses washed away by the floods or landslides. Schools are closed. The road up to Penlyne Castle is even more difficult than usual with all the landslides and streams of water that are crossing the road. The system bringing water to the clinic has been destroyed.
As is unfortunately usual in times like this, Hagley Gap and Penlyne Castle are cut off from the rest of Jamaica. The force of the flooded Yallahs River ate through the causeway. There is now a one meter deep channel through the middle of the causeway making it impossible to cross. It is also impossible to cross the Negro River which borders Hagley Gap on the other side. Although this river is high, the bridge over the Negro River is still usable but what was a small spring on the other side is now a small river. And the alternative truck passage over the river is blocked by an enormous boulder brought down the mountains by the rushing water.
Everyone is counting their blessings and waiting out the continual rain. When the storms have finally run their course, we will start rebuilding.
For further information please check out www.bluemountainproject.org