Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar left for Kingston, Jamaica, yesterday evening, to attend that country's 50th anniversary independence celebrations, as a guest of Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, in the midst of a tropical storm warning due affect the island last night.
Persad-Bissessar, who returns home on Wednesday, is expected to attend several functions during her stay on the island, including a State dinner hosted by the Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen, in honour of the President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma, a tour of the Jubilee Village at the National Stadium and the Independence Gala and the unveiling of a plaque at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, to mark the independence celebrations.
Communication Minister Jamal Mohammed said last night that the Prime Minister was in Jamaica at the invitation of her Jamaican counterpart and the responsibility for her safety and security, as well as the other specially invited guests, was a matter for the Jamaican prime minister and the people of Jamaica.
In its 5 p.m. bulletin the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Miami, Florida, placed Tropical Storm Ernesto, 355 kilometres South South West of the Jamaican capital of Kingston, packing, maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour...85 kilometres per hour with higher gusts.
The bulletin stated that tropical storm conditions were expected in Jamaica throughout last evening with the possibility of Grand Cayman feeling his effects from last night into the early hours of this morning, as well as areas under Tropical Watch later on today.
Jamaica is expected to accumulate between two to four inches of rainfall and possibly higher in isolated areas.
The storm weather could affect Jamaica's scheduled events for today, as the NHC, predicts some strengthening of the storm as it moves over the Western Caribbean Sea today and tomorrow.