JAMAICA began massive clean-up operations yesterday as life slowly returned to normal after the island was slammed on Wednesday by Hurricane Sandy, listed as a category one hurricane which packed winds close to 90 mph.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has since contacted her Jamaican counterpart, Portia Simpson-Miller, and the two regional leaders held a brief conversation, with Persad-Bissessar conveying her concern.
With fallen trees and power lines, broken bridges and blocked roads and approximately 1,000 people in shelters, a final tally as to how much the hurricane will cost Jamaica has not yet been determined.
There was one death recorded in Jamaica, with three more reported in Haiti. Sandy was over the Bahamas yesterday evening.
Electricity was restored in Jamaica's capital, Kingston, around 2.30 p.m. (3.30 p.m. Trinidad and Tobago time).
A University of the West Indies student from T&T, who had to hunker down in her campus dormitory at Mona, commented that despite all that occurred on Wednesday, power and water were available by yesterday afternoon.
She said that despite a power outage that lasted from Wednesday evening into the night and most of Thursday morning, some of their professors were still demanding that their assignments be handed in...on time.
She said being "a Trini I never went through anything like this in my life".
She spoke on behalf of the 200 Trinidad and Tobago students currently reading for degrees on the island, she said none of the T&T students were harmed.
Food, however, remains an issue as she lamented that noodles have now become a staple among her fellow students at the sprawling university.
Kevin Ramsewak, president of the UWI Guild of Students at the St Augustine campus, said he would be going to Jamaica tomorrow in a bid to ascertain the needs of the T&T students, as well as to see what assistance they can offer to other regional students.
The Office of the Prime Minister said: "Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar spoke with Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller to convey concern, on behalf of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, for the people of Jamaica in the wake of Hurricane Sandy."
The Prime Minister expressed her sadness at the news of the deaths that have been reported as a result of the hurricane.
"Our heartfelt prayers are with the people of Jamaica at this time," stated Persad-Bissessar, who added: "We are also very concerned about the well-being of our Caribbean brothers and sisters in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas and will continue to monitor developments in that regard."
The Prime Minister assured Simpson-Miller of Trinidad and Tobago's readiness to assist its Caricom neighbour.
It appeared that Jamaica was prepared for the arrival of the hurricanes which began making headlines on Monday.
Two of the island's main airports were ordered closed on Tuesday, but both had been re-opened yesterday.
Up to press time last night, Hurricane Sandy, which was up-graded to category two, hovered over the Bahamas after causing some distress in both Haiti and Cuba and although forecasters believe its eye may not hit Florida directly, the eastern portion of the US state is expected to experience tropical storm force winds.