Archive | Climate/Weather

UNICEF-Advice-in-brief-web

Eight under investigation for COVID-19 in Montserrat

by Bennette Roach

It is difficult to recall when any event or series of events have taken on the global interest and concern over what is suspected, especially if everyone does not act as responsibly as required, will kill millions globally.

Tiny Montserrat is not spared the attention in this pandemic surrounding the Coronavirus (COVIVD-19) as complaints and questions surmount as to whether Government of Montserrat (GoM) has been responsible or at least demonstrated in their actions or inactions the necessary measures to deal with the situation as far as it affects the island and its people.

The foregoing does not suggest in any way and judgment of anything done or not done but the attempt has been made to keep the people informed of GoM activities with regard to the pandemic.

Today closes with information from the Government Information Unit that a total of eight patients have been sampled for COVID-19 testing on Montserrat over the period Thursday, March 19 and Saturday, March 21, 2020. 

The release states this was reported by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) today, Monday, March 23, 2020.

“Since the opening of the St. Peter’s “flu clinic” on Thursday 19 March, a total of 33 patients have been assessed at the compound. 21 on Thursday and 12 on Friday. Five of those patients met the criteria for testing. That is, they were identified as high risk and displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19. Samples were collected from an additional 3 patients as part of the 24- hour COVID-19 Care Service established by the Ministry.  All suspected cases are in quarantine while we await the results,” the release stated.1st

What still remains to be clarified is that TMR had obtained information that the day when the first person was confirmed positive there were already eight persons suspected, making the news today somewhat suspicious, as questions continue to be raised as to how ready the health authorities are to deal with the threats and concerns surrounding the issues involved.

All eight samples were reportedly dispatched to the CARPHA Reference Laboratory in Trinidad today.

Meantime, however, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharra Greenaway–Duberry confirmed however that future testing may create a challenge as Trinidad & Tobago is closing its borders as of Monday, March 23. This does raise further questions as to why this should be an issue. In the meantime, there is also information that training has been done closer to Montserrat in the area of testing.

The release reported the CMO as saying, “The unprecedented border closures are creating severe and unexpected challenges, the Ministry is now therefore, exploring other options to eliminate them and streamline the diagnostic process; such as building the on-island capacity to test.”

She also offered an update on the well-being of the island’s first confirmed case. She indicated that the patient remains in isolation and is doing well.  

She also emphasized the need for the public to continue to adhere to prevention and protection measures. “Although COVID-19 infections will be mild for most it is important that we protect our vulnerable and those most at risk of severe infection and even death. The highest risk groups include the elderly and persons living with conditions such as asthma and other respiratory ailments, and chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.  By practicing good hygiene and social distancing we can drastically decrease the possible rates of infection here in Montserrat,” Dr. Greenaway- Duberry is quoted as saying.

A reminder is also issued to the public that all persons experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, dry cough, sneeze, stuffy, and runny nose should contact the St. Peter’s clinic by telephone at the following numbers:  491-5436 or 496- 9724. The clinic is opened daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Outside those hours’ persons can receive medical attention by calling the Glendon Hospital Casualty Department at 491-2802 /491-2836/491-2552.

See below from a CNBC report that WHO has now published a variation to the airborne nature of the virus!

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/who-considers-airborne-precautions-for-medical-staff-after-study-shows-coronavirus-can-survive-in-air.html

Posted in Climate/Weather, COVID-19, Environment, Featured, International, Local, Regional0 Comments

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Contingency Plan activated – Ferry to dock at Plymouth Jetty today

Update

Following a safe docking and landing of passengers as desired in Plymouth, the Jaden Sun has reportedly returned to Antigua and has left with passengers who will now be able to disembark and Port Little Bay.

UPDATE: That hope did not materialise – the second departure from Antigua with about 220 passengers with plans to dock at Port Little Bay around midnight. Instead went on to dock at Plymouth, ending the whole disembarkation and processing close to 4 a.m. There were other trips during today and all back to normal by tonight with Access reporting another big day tomorrow into Friday. But with calmer waters. GIU information says following assessments of conditions at Little Bay being favourable, the ferry is expected to dock at Little Bay. The latest report says the ferry Antigua left at approximately 10.20 p.m. which means a possible arrival time at Little Bay around midnight.

The first trip to Port Plymouth brought 100 passengers and according to GIU info, the second trip will bring about 220 persons, easing considerably the need for the near 400 persons expected today to overnight in uncertain accommodation tonight.

Here’s to more favourable times; remembering March 7, 2018, when the sea rose-up just moments after the ferry reached Plymouth and was about to dock, forcing the ferry to return to Antigua. But only after the same thing happened shortly after at Little Bay only a bit more aggressively.

Passengers getting ready to disembark when the water got a bit naughty

GIU, Davy Hill Montserrat–  The Access Division in the Office of the Premier has activated its contingency plan for the ferry to dock at the Plymouth jetty as sea conditions continue to pose a challenge at the jetty located at Little Bay.

Assessments of the sea conditions in Plymouth have indicated that the conditions there are more favourable for the ferry to operate. As a result, His Excellency the Governor, Andrew Pearce has granted approval for the ferry to disembark at the Plymouth Jetty.   The Jaden Sun Ferry will therefore depart Antigua promptly at 4:00 p.m. today Tuesday, March 10, 2020. 

To ensure as many persons as possible are able to travel on this trip, passengers will only be allowed to carry their hand luggage. All other luggage (bags) will be transported separately on the Typhoon Express ferry.

Following the arrival of the Jaden Sun ferry at Port Plymouth this afternoon, a further determination and subsequent announcement will be made about the other trips.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Environment, Government Notices, International, Local, News, Regional, Travel0 Comments

Caribbeean-News-Service-logo2

5.0 quake hits southern Puerto Rico amid ongoing tremors

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit southern Puerto Rico on Saturday at a shallow depth, raising concerns about unstable infrastructure in a region that has been hit by quakes every day for nearly a month.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake occurred at a depth of eight miles (13 kilometres) around the southern coastal town of Guayanilla, located close to the epicenters of most of the recent earthquakes. “We felt it really hard,” town spokesman Danny Hernandez told The Associated Press, saying authorities were patrolling the area to investigate any potential damage.

The newest quake comes a day after hundreds of people in the island’s southern region were evacuated from earthquake shelters that flooded after heavy rains hit the U.S. territory. In the coastal city of Ponce alone, more than 350 people on Friday were moved back into a school that served as the initial shelter when the ground first began shaking, Angel Vazquez, the city’s emergency management director, told the AP.

He said no damage was immediately reported in Ponce, but that crews were out inspecting buildings in areas affected by a 6.4 magnitude quake that hit Jan. 7, killing one person and damaging hundreds of homes. A 5.9 aftershock that hit the same area on Jan. 11 caused further damage. The ground in southern Puerto Rico first began shaking on Dec. 28, and while experts say several local faults are to blame, they are still analyzing data to determine why the earthquakes continue.

U.S. President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for more than dozen municipalities in Puerto Rico following earthquakes that officials say have caused more than $200 million in damage.

The number of 4,000 people representing nearly the recently declared population of Montserrat, remain in shelters.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Earthquake, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

Weather system causes disruption to Ferry Service

Weather system causes disruption to Ferry Service

Jaden Sun

The Access Division, under the portfolio of the Office of the Premier, is informing travelers that a high-pressure system in the region is expected to produce rough sea conditions over the next few days, which is resulting in the cancellation of the ‘Day Tour Service’ and will possibly disrupt other scheduled ferry services from Friday, January 10 to 14.

Daily assessments of sea conditions will be done to determine whether the ferry service will operate and customers will be informed of changes to the ferry services following these assessments. Customers are therefore encouraged to monitor all media platforms for regular updates on potential changes to the ferry service.

Travelers are asked to note that the ferry is scheduled to depart Montserrat for Antigua at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow Friday, January 10 and a determination will be made on whether or not the ferry will operate its normal return journey from Antigua to Montserrat in the evening.

As a result, ‘Day Tour Service’ for tomorrow, Friday, January 10, has been canceled.

Customers are therefore advised to review their travel arrangements considering the upcoming disruptions.

Ferry Agents can be contacted on the following numbers:

Agents:
Montserrat: Jemmotte Shipping (664) 496-9912
Antigua: Jenny Tours 1-268-722-8188

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Government Notices, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

5.2 magnitude earthquake jolts Caribbean islands

5.2 magnitude earthquake jolts Caribbean islands

Jan 8, 2020

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2 rocked several Caribbean countries on Wednesday as regional countries were being urged to continue monitoring the situation in Puerto Rico where two strong quakes have been blamed for the death of one man and damage to several buildings in that country.

 The Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies said that the quake occurred at 10: 01 local time and was located Latitude: 15.18N; Longitude: 61.22W and at a depth of 123 kilometres.

The centre said that the quake was felt 23 km southeast of Roseau in Dominica as well as 66 km north, northwest of Fort-de-France, the capital of the French island of Martinique and 124 km south, southeast of Point-à-Pitre, the capital of Guadeloupe.

 It said there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Wednesday joined the centre in urging Caribbean countries to monitor the situation in Puerto Rico.

 CDEMA further urged countries said to be guided by the established protocols outlined in their respective tsunami and coastal hazard plans

Posted in Climate/Weather, Earthquake, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

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NASSAU, Bahamas Dec. 11, (CMC) – Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands says that weeks after the passage of Hurricane Dorian, there are bodies that remain unclaimed in a refrigerated trailer on the island of Abaco.

“In the trailer in Abaco, a significant number of bodies I believe probably about 50 (have not been claimed). DNA samples have been taken and the expected time from DNA sampling until comparison and conclusion can be as long as six to nine months,” he said.

According to Sands, while the remains of a few storm victims have been to their families, the government might use an independent third party to act as an intermediary to enable undocumented migrants – who may be fearful – to identify the remains.

“Bear in mind that some people may be afraid to come forward if their immigration status is not ideal. This problem is not unique to The Bahamas and so (a consideration is) to have an independent third party perhaps act as an intermediary so that the process of identification can take place,” said Sands, who was speaking outside Cabinet on Tuesday.

He added that health officials would like to curtail the length of time the bodies are kept in the Abaco trailer.

“In Abaco…we’d like to limit the length of time. We have remains in New Providence that would have been here in refrigerated trailers for years. There is no absolute limit as to how long you can keep refrigerated remains. In this instance however at that facility to have a trailer sitting there for an indefinite time is not ideal and so what we would like to be able to do is to be very aggressive in terms of making it safe and easy for individuals to identify.”

Concerning a burial site for the remains for the unidentified remains of those killed by the hurricane, he said that not much progress has been made for the burial site.

Posted in Environment, Hurricane, International, Local, News, Obituaries, Politics, Regional0 Comments

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Another RMPS marine loss

Heliconia Start

December opens up to another loss to the marine unit of the Royal Montserrat Police Services (RMPS).

dinghy minus engine

Sketchy information reaching TMR informs that the replacement dinghy of one lost earlier this year in September, ended up on rocks at Little Bay minus its “outboard engine” as seen here in the photograph.

It’s been reported that on receiving information that there will be rough seas overnight, the dingy was used to secure the Heliconia Star, returning to the port and the rough seas. This morning the dingy was found as seen, with no engine.

Many questions for the marine managers, including: “Why did they not spend the night outside the rough waters on the secured HS which is so well equipped with the dingy in tow?

still missing from September

Posted in Climate/Weather, Environment, Featured, International, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Earthquake rattles three Caribbean islands

Earthquake rattles three Caribbean islands

by staff writer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Oct 7, CMC – An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1 rattled three Caribbean islands early Monday, but there have been no reports of injuries or damage, the Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

SRC said that the quake occurred at 6.23 am (local time) and was felt in St. Lucia, Dominica and the French-island of Martinique.

It said that the quake was located Latitude: 14.61N, Longitude: 60.43W and at a depth of 20 kilometers (km).

The quake was felt 72 km east of Fort-de-France, Martinique, 88 km north east of Castries, St. Lucia and 131 km south east of Roseau, the Dominica capital.

Posted in CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Earthquake, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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Human rights group blasts government over deportation policy


by staff writer

NASSAU, Bahamas, Oct 2, CMC – The human rights group, Rights Bahamas, has criticised the decision of the Hubert Minnis government to deport undocumented migrants who survived the passage of Hurricane Dorian on September 1 and are now living in shelters.

“Rights Bahamas has alerted international human rights groups to the government’s savage, cold-hearted and illegal plan to expel migrants affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Hubert Minis

“We condemn this sudden about-face from the government’s earlier declaration that it will not target migrant the victims of the storm, and denounce the scheme for what is clearly is – a shameful attempt at political posturing aimed at currying favour with xenophobic elements of the populace,” the group said in a statement.

Immigration Minister, Elsworth Johnson, earlier this week said the shelters would not be used “to circumvent the law.

“If you’re in a shelter and you’re undocumented and you’re not here in the right way, you’re still subject to deportation and the enforcement of the immigration laws,” Johnson said, adding “the government of The Bahamas fully appreciates that we are a country of laws. We’re governed by the rule of law”.

Attorney General Carl Bethel said migrants who have lost their jobs as a result of the hurricane “need to go home” even if their work permits have not yet expired,.

Earlier, the Department of Immigration issued a statement specifying that prospective employers of storm victims that need work permits must prove their applicant has satisfactory living conditions, because if they don’t, they will be denied.

“The public is advised that non-nationals seeking employment in The Bahamas must be approved by the Immigration Department and that applications for the issuance of the first work permit will not be accepted or considered unless the individual is physically present and resident in his or her country of origin at the same time that the first application is made,” the Department of Immigration said.

Bethel said that if the employer is still paying workers hen they have a job, “if not then they need to go home

“The files will reflect who the business or homeowner applicant is. We will know if a job exists,” he added.

In its statement, Rights Bahamas said that the notice by Bethel “is hollow and disingenuous.

“How will those who have lost their property, their money and probably their travel documents manage to leave? This is nothing more than a precursor and excuse for an exercise of mass illegal deportation without due process.

“This very migrant population which the Attorney General speaks of so callously was among the most gravely affected by the storm. Now, the government would kick them when they are at their lowest, and heap further misery on their heads, just to score cheap political points. It is utterly unconscionable to further target, victimise and scapegoat people who have lost everything, including loved ones, in this shameful manner. Are they to have no time to even mourn in peace?”

The human rights group said that it “is the height of cynicism and cruelty” when the government is moving to deport people who “have lost their homes, jobs, everything and then declare that they must prove they are employed and “satisfactory living conditions” – whatever this arbitrary phrase is supposed to mean”.

Rights Bahamas said that this move “will undoubtedly affect hundreds of children of migrants born in the Bahamas, effectively denying them the right to Bahamian citizenship as mandated by the constitution.

“Once expelled with their parents, we all know that they will never be allowed back in to access their birthright. For many, this could mean being rendered stateless if their parents have passed away and/or and they have no way to prove their connection to whatever country our government is planning to expel them.”

Rights Bahamas said it is urging all of its international partners to “vocally condemn this declaration by the Bahamas government.

“We are also reporting the matter to the UNHCR and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, with a view to seeking precautionary measures to protect the migrant population in the Bahamas from arbitrary and illegal actions.”

The government-appointed coordinator of hurricane relief efforts in Abaco, Algernon Cargill, also warned undocumented migrants against any plans for returning to Abacos Islands.“

Posted in CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Hurricane, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Caricom Invites Stay in the Loop

CARICOM invites – Stay in the Loop – Reports to Sept. 27

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg9wm1ua8KU&feature=youtu.be

Posted in CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Education, Elections, Environment, Hurricane, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

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