Even as they deal with the impacts of monster Hurricane Irma, Antigua and Barbuda and its Caribbean neighbours are eyeing Hurricane Jose.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that at 5 p.m. (local time), Jose had become a hurricane with winds of 75 miles per hour (mph).
Jose, which strengthened from a tropical storm to a hurricane on Wednesday afternoon, is located more than thousand miles east of the Lesser Antilles.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, executive director of the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Ronald Jackson, said they are still gathering details on the full extent of the devastation caused by Irma.
“We don’t have all the full details from the British Virgin Islands at the moment but given that the eye passed directly over Tortola, given the physical geographical conditions . . . we anticipate there should be significant needs being generated by the impact of the most severe aspects of the storm,” he said.
“We expect to see significant damage as a result,” he said, adding that CDEMA is now working to deploy teams into Antigua, hopefully by Thursday “mindful that our plans may be varied somewhat by the fast advancing storm Jose, which is moving within the wake of Irma and showing some signs that it could move along similar path.
“This means that there is a potential for secondary impacts for the north Leeward Islands (and) that is being factored into our plans for the moment, but for now we are hoping to deploy into Antigua as our focal point to serve the needs Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands from that point”.
He said even as the teams are being deployed “we are turning our attention, positioning teams to respond to potential impacts in Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas.
“Already we have on standby military engineers and doctors to respond to the needs of Turks and Caicos and Bahamas,” he said, adding that relief supplies are also being mobilised.
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