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La Inmaculada RC School enters Phase 1 of their emergency plan

La Inmaculada RC School has entered phase one of their plan due to heavy rains causing a strong odor to rise from the New River. The school has now adjusted their schedule of classes to begin early and end early for students not to be exposed to the odor coming from the river. The decision made by the schools comes after some of their teachers were rushed to the Hospital after experiencing respiratory issues on Wednesday September 18. Love News contacted Lenny Umana, Principal of La Inmaculada RC School, who explained to us what their phase one plan entails.

Lenny Umana, Principal, La Inmaculada RC School: ‘Well Wednesday which was yesterday we were experiencing some very serious conditions with teachers and students at school, we had three teachers that needed to be taken to the ER, they were having breathing problems and we had a number of our students that were complaining of headaches and dizziness and upset stomach. This happened after lunch when the rains had fallen and it stirred up the problem especially so that our parents were also here, we had a parents meeting and fortunately that smell came out and people were really not feeling too well and the parents prompted us that we needed to do something because they weren’t prepared to continue sending their children into this type of environment. So I managed to speak with the Chief Education Officer Dr.Babb who immediately told us you know what you better initiate the first plan which is an early start of the morning and an early dismissal at 1:30 and that is what we decided to do. We have been informed that this will be done until we get the all clear from the DOE [Department of Environment] and the Ministry of Health. Surprisingly we had 97% of our students attending classes today and we had 100% of our staff back in operation this morning. We have about 25-30 students who travel to the nearby villages via school bus and we have a concern because the school bus once they drop them off here at 8 they are not picked up until 4 o’clock in the evening  and if we are dismissing our students at 1:30 we have 25-30 children sitting by the river side without anywhere to go so all I’m appealing to the Ministry of Education is if they could assist us with a bus run that would take back the children at 1:30.

The Department of Environment issued a press release concerning the matter stating; “As part of the testing, the alarm was turned on to check for functionality. At no time did the H2S alarm go off because of high levels of H2S in the area.”