As Jamaica remains under Flash Flood Warning, the Ministry of Education has announced that all schools will be closed due to the inclement weather. The Ministry’s announcement comes after an announcement from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) that that all schools should be closed as Jamaica remains under a Flash Flood warning.

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING means flooding has been reported or will occur shortly.

An impression of the Tropical Depression #16 by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) located about 150 miles South of Marathin Florida.

So far the ODPEM has reported that at least one child was washed away when the house in which the child was living was swept away in Barbican, St Andrew in the vicinity of Burger King. In the interim because of the possibility of strong current Motorists and pedestrians are urge NOT TO attempt to cross flooded roadways or other low-lying areas.

At the moment residents in low-lying areas are asked to be on the alert for rising waters and be ready to move quickly to higher ground.

Since last weekend Jamaica has been receiving heavy battering of rainfall due to the development of Tropical Depression #16. At 4:00am this morning the coordinates for the depression were latitude 23.3 degrees north and longitude 84.4 degrees west, just north of Havana or about 160 kilometres south of Marathon Florida.

Projections from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicates that the Depression is moving toward the north-northeast at 22 km/h. and is expected to gradual increase in speed during the next 24 to 36 hours. The NHC has forecast that the tropical cyclone will move over the Florida straits later this morning and be near or over southeastern Florida by this evening.

Maximum sustained winds are near 55 km/h, with higher gusts. Reports from an air force reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate surface winds are very near tropical storm strength about midway between the Florida Keys and Cuba. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours and the Depression is expected to become a tropical storm later today before merging with a frontal zone on Thursday.