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Red Cross volunteers help pick up pieces after Hurricane Ivan
20 September 2004

Kingston: "I knew my house was going to wash away," explains Crystal Clarke holding her baby boy, Brandon, "that’s why I chose to go to the shelter with my family". She and her entire family left Portmore to wait out the storm at the National Arena in Kingston where approximately a thousand other people did the same.

Like many of the poorer residents of Kingston, Crystal’s home is composed of a few boards of wood and some zinc sheets for roofing. It is the poor who cannot afford proper housing that are most vulnerable to hurricanes. She is one of an estimated 15,000 residents who sought refuge in the 285 shelters opened across Jamaica.

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From: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies