Assessment of the Socio-Economic and Environmental Impact of Hurricane Wilma on Jamaica

Assessment of the Socio-Economic and Environmental Impact of Hurricane Wilma on Jamaica

Hurricane Wilma of 2005 has gone down in the record books as the most intense hurricane to have developed in any Atlantic Hurricane Season, having generated sustained wind speeds of 280 km/h.  The main impacts of on the environment were landslides, excessive flooding, significant siltation of water ways and consequently, the coastal zone, nutrient and solid waste pollution and massive beach erosion in several sections of the island. Hurricane Wilma caused direct damage to the Agriculture and the Transport, Storage & Telecommunications sectors estimated at approximately $248.8 million, mainly in agriculture. A total of 106 communities island-wide were affected by Hurricane Wilma. There was one direct fatality and two boys drowned, which was indirectly linked. Widespread flooding and landslides associated with Hurricane Wilma resulted in damage to the housing sector and, as at October 24, the total estimate of loss and damage to the health sector resulting from Hurricane Wilma amounted to $45.2 million.

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