DOMINICA – Windward Islands brace for Tropical Storm Dorian


Dominica, which is still recovering from the battering it received in 2017, when Hurricane Maria pounded the island, killing more than 30 people and leaving millions of dollars (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) in destruction, has joined the other Windward Islands – Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in awaiting the passage of a Tropical Storm Dorian on Monday.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that Dorian could be near hurricane strength when it passes through the northern Windward Islands on Tuesday, becoming the first hurricane for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

In all four islands, the governments have ordered public offices to close early and in the case of St. Lucia, which is likely to be most affected by the storm, a total shu down has been ordered from 6.00 pm (local time) until the storm passes.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told a news conference that the government has been putting measures in place to ensure the safety of citizens.

“Dominicans as we all know that our Island is under the storm watch, my priority is that everyone must be safe and secure. I suggest all to get enough food supplies in their houses and all necessary items as precautionary measures. We are in full recovery mode and we are also the First Climate Resilient Country in the world,” he said.

“We have also placed the police on alert to ensure that they are able to respond to any request for rescuing people or getting people out of harms’ way. The Ministry of Public Works has also been mandated as customary to ensure that heavy equipment are placed and located in strategic points,” Skerrit told reporters.

“We want to reiterate that there’s no need fo anyone of us to be in any panic mode. There is no need for anyone of us to be over anxious and there’s no need for us to shut down the country. There will be no shutting down of the country, we will continue our daily duties and as the hours go by and the advisories come in …we will give you further updates,” he added.

In Grenada, the authorities have said that in anticipation of the northern part of the island being affected more severely by the passage of the storm all government offices on the Grenadine Islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique would be closed early.

The two Grenadine islands are governed by Grenada, while the others are governed by the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“The early closure is to facilitate the necessary preparations as Tropical Storm Dorian approach the island. We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs which also called on residents of the 13 square miles islands to take action that will safeguard lives and property from the potential impact of the storm.

The National Disaster management Agency District Committee for Carriacou and Petite Martinique has also announced that three emergency shelters will be activated as of 4:00 pm (local time).

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in a radio and television broadcast said that all government offices, non-essential services and businesses are to close by 4 p.m (local time) and gas stations and supermarkets will remain open until 6 p.m.

He also urged citizens to take all precautions to safeguard themselves from the storm.

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