Hurricane Dean reaches Jamaica

'Warlike readiness' in Jamaica

Jewish Agency representative in Jamaica tells Ynetnews of preparations ahead of Hurricane Dean

As Jamaica hunkers down in preparation for the dreaded Hurricane Dean, on a direct collision course with the Caribbean nation, the Jewish Agency's representative in Jamaica told Ynetnews of steps being taken on the island as residents brace themselves for the worst.


According to the US National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Dean is packing sustained winds of up to 240 kilometers (150 miles) per hour, placing the hurricane a notch below category five, the most severe level.


"Preparations here are very similar to preparations for war," Alon Gildoni told Ynetnews. "We are gathering a lot of water, canned food, and candles, and we are entrenching ourselves in our homes," he added.


"This is one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit Jamaica, and people are very concerned," Gildoni said.


"To give you some perspective, in 1988, hurricane Gilbert blew the roof off of Kingston's synagogue and Rosh Hashanah prayers were carried out without a roof, under umbrellas. That hurricane was weak in comparison with Dean, which is supposed to strike here in a few hours," Gildoni said.


Jamaica has an estimated 300 Jewish residents. Gildoni's tasks in Jamaica include providing the general population with information about Judaism and Zionism, advocate Israel's international positions, and providing assistance to the local Jewish community.


In an interview with the Jamaica Gleaner last April, Gildoni stressed his passion for teaching, which he is able to realize at the Hillel Academy in St. Andrew, which contains a minority of Jewish students.


"Sometimes people think that all we (in Israel) have is war. But that is not the case. The country is quite peaceful. Last year the amount of killings by acts of terror amounted to is less than a third of the murders committed in Jamaica annually," Gildoni told the Gleaner during the interview.


פרסום ראשון: 08.19.07, 17:35
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