Archive | Climate/Weather

Death toll climbs as Haiti assesses damage caused by earthquakes

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Oct 8, CMC – The death toll has climbed by 15 and more than 300 people injured as Haiti Monday assesses the damage caused by several earthquakes that hit the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country over the last weekend.

The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said the “partial assessment of the earthquake of October 6, 2018 is 15 dead” and that most of those killed were in Port-de-Paix, north-west of here.

Haitian officials discussing the damage caused by earthquakes.

It said at 333 people were injured and treated in hospitals in the north west and that more than 7,000 houses have been destroyed or damaged.

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake on Saturday night was followed by several aftershocks, with one registering 5.2 and another 4.2

The DPC said that the quake caused the damage to the central police station of Port-de-Paix and that Civil Protection teams are at work across assessing the damage. It has called on people to keep calm and not to rely on rumours.

President Jovenel  Moise, accompanied by several ministers including Prime Minister Jean Henry Céant has visited several areas devastated by the quake.

Meanwhile, CARICOM countries are expressing sympathy and condolences to the government of Haiti as a result of the quake, the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 2010 when the country was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude quake that left more than 220,000 people dead and over 300,000 injured.

St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has called on citizens to keep the people of Haiti in “all our thoughts and prayers.

“Right now the fear is that there will be strong aftershocks. These are our brothers and sisters in Haiti who have suffered immensely and are now living in fear and this may create panic. We also know that the people of Haiti are still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake.

“We must continue to offer support where we can, especially at the OECS and CARICOM levels. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims and to those injured in this most recent earthquake,” he said in a statement.

The Bahamas government said it is in contact with The Bahamas’ Embassies in Haiti and Cuba as it relates to the safety of Bahamians.

“Initial reports from our Embassies indicate that Bahamians residing in Haiti and Cuba are safe.  Further, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has extended sincere sympathy to the Republic of Haiti following the devastating impact of this tragic event. The Ministry will endeavour to inform the general public of new developments relating to this issue as deemed necessary,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The United States has also indicated a willingness to assist as it send condolences to all affected in Haiti.

“The United States and Haiti are strategic partners and friends, and we stand ready to assist in the relief effort, if requested,” Washington said.

 

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Earthquake kills at least 10, injures more than 100, then minor earthquake rocks Jamaica

Earthquake kills at least 10, injures more than 100, then minor earthquake rocks Jamaica

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Oct 7, CMC – At least 10 people were killed and several others injured after an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 rocked northwest Haiti on Saturday night, officials have confirmed.

The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said that the quake was felt across several parts of the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country and that it created panic in several cities.

The DPC said that most of the deaths occurred in Port-de-Paix , north west of here, where seven bodies had been found and three others in the Gros Morne.

It said at least 135 people have been injured and taken to hospitals. “Many houses are destroyed or damaged,” it said.

The DPC said that rescue teams are working across the country especially in the north west where two slight aftershocks have been felt since.

“The Directorate of Civil Protection invites people to keep calm and not to rely on rumours. The earthquake did not require the launch of a tsunami warning,” the DPC said in a statement.

The DPC said that the 10 people killed after they were caught in collapsed buildings and that the earthquake shook the island late Saturday night.

“I urge the population to keep calm, following the passage of the earthquake whose epicenter is located in the northwest coast,” President Jovenel Moïse posted on Twitter.

‘The (disaster) risk management system and the regional branches of the Civil Protection are on standby to assist the inhabitants of the affected areas,” he added.

The earthquake occurred about 12 miles north of Port-de-Paix in northwest Haiti.

In 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 killed an estimated 160,000 people and left more than a million others homeless in the French-speaking country.

 

On Sunday, rescue  teams in Haiti were working to provide relief in the aftermath of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked sections of the country late Saturday.

According Secretary of State for Communications Eddy Jackson Alexis, a preliminary report indicated that 11 people had died and 135  injured.

It’s reported that seven people died in the coastal city of Port-de-Paix and three people died in the community of Gros-Morne in the province of Artibonite.

The injured are being treated at medical centers in the northern part of the country.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at 8:11 p.m. Saturday (local time) and was centered 12 miles  northwest of Port-de-Paix, which is about 136 miles  from here.

The quake was 7.3 miles below the surface.

The tremor was also felt in the neighboring Dominican Republic and in eastern Cuba.

The civil protection agency issued a statement saying that some houses were destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island.

Haiti President Jovenel Moise said civil protection brigades were working to clear debris and help victims. He also said the government had sent water and food.

Impoverished Haiti, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is especially vulnerable to earthquakes. A vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

In 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 killed an estimated 160,000 people and left more than a million others homeless in the French-speaking country.

Haiti rattled by several aftershocks

Haiti, Oct 8, CMC – An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale rattled Haiti during the early hours of Monday, less than 48 hours after one killed 12 people and left more than 150 others injured.

The quake occurred at 1.04 am (local time) and was located 17 kilometers (km) north of Turtle Island, 32 km north-west of Port-de-Paix. It had a depth of 10 km.

Destruction caused by earthquake in Haiti last Saturday

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

On Sunday, Turtle Island was also rocked by an earthquake with a magnitude of .5.2. The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the aftershock was located 9.8 miles north-northwest of Port-de-Paix.

Officials say the quakes are aftershocks from Saturday’s deadly 5.9 tremor that as felt across several parts of the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country and that it created panic in several cities.

The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) said that at least 12 people were confirmed dead and 188 injured and that most of the deaths occurred in Port-de-Paix , north west of here. It said that rescue teams are working across the country especially in the north west.

Meanwhile, the United Nations says it is prepared to assist the French-speaking Caribbean country following the earthquakes.

In a statement, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he ‘is saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and injuries caused by the earthquake in north-west Haiti on 6 October”.

The UN chief extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the government of Haiti.

“The United Nations stands ready to support the Government of Haiti in the response efforts,” the statement noted.

Saturday night’s quake is the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 2010, when the country was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude temblor, which killed more than 100,000 people.

Minor earthquake rocks Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct. 8, CMC – An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.6 was felt in sections of the island late Sunday.

The United States Geological Survey says that the earthquake, with its epicenter west northwest of Hope Bay in the eastern parish of Portland was felt in the neighboring parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew and St Thomas.

There have been no reports of injuries or damages.

This is the third tremor to rock sections of the island in recent weeks.

Last month, two minor earthquakes were recorded.

This earthquake follows a 5.9 magnitude tremor   in Haiti on Saturday that left 11 dead and more than 30 injured .

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St Lucia to host two events on impact of climate change

St Lucia to host two events on impact of climate change


by staff writer 

CASTRIES, St. Lucia Oct 6, CMC – St. Lucia will host the first Forum of the Caribbean Nationally Determined Contributions Finance Initiative (NDC FI) later this month.

The October 11-12 initiative is one of two events being held here to raise public awareness on the impacts of climate change.

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission said that an exhibition under the theme “Building Resilience on the Frontlines of Climate Change” is being organized in collaboration with the European Union and the Department of Sustainable Development of the St. Lucia government.

It said the gallery will highlight the role of biodiversity and other factors in climate mitigation.

The exhibition coincides with the NDC FI that is being convened under the theme “Caribbean Climate Leadership: Accelerating NDC Implementation”.

The organisers said that the objectives of the forum are to generate a roadmap for NDC implementation and investment until 2020 as well as identify and validate key NDC investment sectors/sub-sectors.

The forum is also intended to address implementation barriers and processes for updating NDCs, linking them with national needs for mitigation, adaptation and their co-benefits; establish a process for project pipeline development and matchmaking with potential investors and to identify and engage development partners to support NDC implementation.

The organisers said it is hoped that the forum will establish a network of sector experts, development partners, potential investors and other stakeholders with a view to building new partnerships and catalyzing investments.

The two day event will be attended by government ministers and experts from the nine-member OECS and the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries as well as representatives of regional institutions ; development partner organisations and the the regional and international private sectors.

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Grenada wants Caribbean to serve as ‘test case’ for implementation of climate-related technologies

Grenada wants Caribbean to serve as ‘test case’ for implementation of climate-related technologies


by STAFF WRITER 

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 30, CMC – Grenada has called on other Caribbean nations and Small Island Development States (SIDS)  to serve as “test cases” for nationwide implementation of climate-related technologies and advances.

In addressing the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly Debate on Saturday, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David said the Caribbean also represents “some of the most globally compelling business cases for sustainable renewable energy investment.

Peter David

“Being climate smart goes beyond policies,” he said. “It goes beyond resilient housing, resilient infrastructure and resilient agriculture.

“It means that the region can also serve as a global beacon for renewable energy and energy efficiency,” David added. “We aim to not only be resilient, but with our region’s tremendous potential in hydro-electricity and geothermal energy, we could also be climate smart.”

In understanding the need to rethink the Caribbean’s adaptation to climate change, David said the Government of Grenada has established a new “over-arching” Ministry, titled the Ministry of Climate Resilience, Environment, Fisheries, Forestry, Disaster Management and Information.

He said its mandate is to “work speedily to ensure that engrained in every aspect of our country’s development is the question of addressing climate change and climate resilience.”

The Foreign Affairs Minister said Grenada is also currently shifting some of its macroeconomic focus to ensure attention is paid to the development of its green and blue economies, “thus marrying economic development with environmental sustainability.”

He said while the road to climate-smart sustainability is “long and arduous,” it is not insurmountable, “and we must ensure that we are strategic in this journey.”

In building climate-smart and sustainable societies, David said the inherent need to improve the health of citizens and the conditions for fostering good health must not be discounted.

But, he said, unfortunately, like many Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states and other developing nations, Grenada struggles with the scourge of non-communicable diseases.

He, therefore, called for global leadership and looks forward to international solutions “that would preserve the health of our people, promote longevity and sustain our future.”

David said the successful completion of last week’s UN High-Level meetings on non-communicable diseases and Tuberculosis is “encouraging, particularly the commitments set forth in the Political Declarations, laudably adopted by consensus.

“Now is the time to scale up our efforts to ensure we honor those commitments,” he said.

But, as the region attempts to create sustainable societies, David said it is confronted with “certain global financial policies and actions that pose significant threats” to the region’s sustainable development.

He said correspondent banking and de-risking, blacklisting and middle-income status graduation are measures that negatively affect Caribbean economies.

“The unilateral and premature graduation of many Small Island Developing States to Middle Income Status without consideration of our region’s specific vulnerabilities has resulted in significant budgetary shortfalls, adversely affecting our economic and social development,” David said, pointing out that the region has inherent structural economic challenges that already restrict the pace of its development.

“We ask that these impediments to growth be considered when our matters arise for consideration,” he said.

David noted that the Caribbean Development Bank has pioneered the use of vulnerability indices when setting the terms of its financing, and urged international partners to work toward “an acceptable ‘Country Vulnerability Index’ that holistically assesses our countries’ development and risks.”

Moreover, David said the withdrawal of correspondent banking services to CARICOM Member States can be seen as “an economic assault that would destabilize the financial sector of our already vulnerable economies.

“Remittances contribute in real and significant terms to the GDP (gross domestic product) of small states,” he said, alluding to the World Bank, which he said has stated that “any sudden stop in remittances in economies that rely on these flows could pose a significant threat to socio-economic stability.”

Added to the threat of lost correspondent banking relationships is “the unilateral and often unfounded blacklisting of our institutions as ‘money launderers’ and our countries as ‘tax havens,’” David said.

“It pains us as policy-makers when we expend our limited resources to comply with international rules, only to face arbitrary punishments when we are quite evidently doing our best,” he said.

David said there are no easy answers to these challenges, but he urged the region’s partners to “desist from draconian approaches to these matters when dealing with vulnerable developing nations.”

The Foreign Affairs Minister said Grenada continues to work with its international partners to advance international peace and security.

He said Grenada’s position on the development of nuclear weapons is clear, stating that the development of nuclear weapons is “inherently destructive, and, therefore, serves no good purpose for humanity.”

“Deterrence only makes sense where there is the possibility of deployment,” he said. “The mere existence of these weapons anywhere, is unacceptable.

“Grenada, therefore, urges its friends to desist from the development and testing of these weapons,” he added. “Imagine what we could achieve instead, if we put our brilliant scientists to work on Climate Change and building climate-smart resilient and sustainable societies.”

As leaders strive to maintain the Caribbean Region as a zone of peace, David said “some of us continue to be affected by the trafficking of small arms from the countries that manufacture and sell these arms freely.”

He noted that, in some of the islands, states-of-emergency have been declared at various times “to control criminal activity, because of the increasing availability and use of small arms.”

David said small arms and gun violence undermine the rule of law and are often major factors behind the displacement of civilians and the violation of human rights.

“We cannot build sustainable societies if our public security is incessantly threatened by this scourge,” he declared.

David said as efforts are being made to create sustainable societies, “the people of Cuba continue to suffer under the unjust decades-old embargo imposed on them by the United States of America.”

He said Grenada continues to call for the immediate lifting of “the unfair economic, commercial and financial embargo on the Republic of Cuba.”

He added that Grenada “strongly supports” UN General Assembly Resolution 70/5, which calls for an end to “this dreadful embargo.”

David said some of the region’s neighbors in Latin America are currently experiencing political and economic challenges, “which threaten the peaceful existence, sustainable development, and, by extension, the stability of the region.

“Grenada calls for dialogue and asks that good sense and wisdom prevail in all attempts aimed at resolving these conflicts,” he said. “In the same vein, we call for the political integrity and sovereignty of these states to be respected.

“The Government of Grenada continues to offer its hand in good faith to facilitate dialogue towards the settlement of said disputes,” David added.

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Caribbean jolted by two earthquakes within a six-hour period

Caribbean jolted by two earthquakes within a six-hour period

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Oct 1, CMC – Several Caribbean countries were rattled as two earthquakes hit the region within a six-hour period, the Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) has said.

In the first instance, the SRC said that a quake with a magnitude of 4.0 was felt in the French island of Martinique, Dominica and St. Lucia.

The SRC said that the quake occurred late on Sunday night at 9.40 pm (local time) and was located at Latitude: 15.08 north, Longitude: 60.30 west and at a depth of 10 kilometers (km).

It said that the quake was felt 101 km north east of Fort-de-France, Martinique, 123 km east south east of Roseau, Dominica and 139 km north east of Castries, St. Lucia.

The second quake with a magnitude of 3.3 occurred at 3.35 am (local time) on Monday and was located at Latitude: 12.29 north, Longitude: 61.65 west and at a depth: 5 km.

The quake was felt 28 km north east of St. George’s, Grenada, 107 km south west of Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and 159 km North West of Scarborough in Trinidad and Tobago

The SRC said there were no immediate reports of injuries or damages caused by the two earthquakes, the latest in a series of earth tremors felt in several Caribbean countries.

The SRC have been warning regional countries to be prepared for a major quake. Last month Trinidad and Tobago recorded an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 causing wide spread infrastructural damage to several buildings.

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St. Lucia back to normal after scare from Tropical Storm Kirk , earthquake

St. Lucia back to normal after scare from Tropical Storm Kirk , earthquake

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Sept 28, CMC – St. Lucia was returning to normal on Friday after Tropical Storm Kirk drenched the island with heavy rains and winds, causing electricity blackouts in some areas as a result of trees falling on power lines.

The director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Velda Joseph, in a statement, said that the organisation had been in contact with the St. Lucia Meteorological Services and other relevant parties and that the tropical storm warning for the island had been lifted.

Velda Joseph

“In that regard normal operations would resume at 1.00 pm (local time) today That applies to the private sector as well as the public sector,” she said. The authorities had already indicated that schools would remain closed until Monday.

The NEMO statement gave no details of any damage during the passage of the storm, but the St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCLEC) in a statement said that while the electricity system “held up fairly well…several areas were without power due to trees or branches falling on electricity lines, fallen poles, and a few areas where lines dropped due To the high winds and minor slides”.

It said that power restoration work has begun and some of the areas that were without power on Thursday night have been restored.

“There are still several areas without power, as well as some areas with fallen poles and lines on the ground. LUCELEC advises the public to exercise an abundance of caution and stay away from any downed lines.”

LUCELEC said that “steady progress is being made with power restoration work” and that the expectation is that power should be restored to the majority of the system by the end of the day”.

The telecommunication companies said their system “came through” the storm and that 64 per cent of mobile cell sites were fully operational.

“Those cell sites that are temporarily out of service will be restored once commercial power is reinstated,” Flow said in a statement.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC)  said Kirk was now located 185 miles west south west of the French island of Martinique and that the tropical storm watches and warnings for several Caribbean islands had been discontinued.

It said that the storm has sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (mph) and that there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

“Kirk is moving towards the west-northwest near 13 mph and this motion is expected to continue through Sunday.  On the forecast track, the center of Kirk or its remnants will move across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea over the next day or two,” the NHC said, adding that Kirk is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression tonight, and then degenerate into a trough of low pressure on Saturday.

Earlier, St. Lucia was hit by a magnitude 5.6 earthquake but there were no reports of injuries or damages associated with the tremor.

The Seismic Research Unit of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said that the earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 hit the island at 8.32 am (local time).

It said the location of the quake was Latitude: 15.11north, Longitude: 60.43 west at a depth of 10 kilometers (km).

The quake was felt 134 km north east of Castries, 108km east south east of Roseau in Dominica and

91 km north east of Fort-de-France, the capital of the French-speaking island of Martinique.

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TS Kirk Image 2018-09-28 at 8.43.15 AM

Update: The possible worst of TS Kirk has passed

Following warnings of caution, Tropical Storm Kirk which was due to pass well south of Montserrat, at 7.00 a.m., overnight had taken a dip to the south as it continued its westward journey. It was located Latitude: 13.5, Longitude:- 63, still with a windspeed of 50 mph and heading west, traveling 12 mph.

The reported forecast from Storm Tracks for TS Kirk as it moves into the middle of the Caribbean Sea is to continue on its westerly course at 50 mph.

 

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Canadian firm to construct hundreds of new houses in Dominica

Canadian firm to construct hundreds of new houses in Dominica

ROSEAU, Dominica, Sept 24, CMC – The Canadian-based Montreal Management Consultations Est. (MMCE) LTD will construct more than 300 houses here across the island over the coming months as the battered hurricane island continues its efforts to become the world’s first climate resilient country.

MMCE project manager, Chris Timmins, speaking at the signing ceremony here on Monday, said that the project would entail the construction of 66 units in each of the several communities like La Plaine, San Sauveur, Grand Fond, Castle Bruce and Delices on the east coast in the first instance.

Financial Secretary, Rosemund Edwards and the MMCE
chief executive officer, Dr. Anthony Haiden signing agreement.

He said in the northern area of Picard, 68 units are under construction and that a further 68 are to be built in Cotton Hill.

“We are also at City Square which is due to start in the final quarter of this year. It is a total unit, including commercial of 125 units,” Trimmins said after the contracts were signed between the Financial Secretary Financial Secretary, Rosemund Edwards and MMCe chief executive officer, Dr. Anthony Haiden.

Trimmins told the ceremony that following the passage of Hurricane Maria last year that left a trail of death and destruction, revisions had to be made of the intimal housing project in Bellview Chopin, south of here.

“Castle Bruce is scheduled to be completed by June 2019, while everything on the east coast will be completed and handed over. In Georgetown, Picard we anticipate and are confident in July 2019. Cotton Hill we are comfortable in September 2019,” he said.

“The Roseau City Square, it will be twelve months from commencement, so given the present status, we anticipate the completion no later than December 2019,” Timmins said, adding that the units will comprise 10 one-bedrooms, 55 two-bedrooms, 35 three-bedroom units and 25 commercial units.

“We are proud of our products. We have been on the island now for two years, we started up in Bellevue on residential construction in May 2017,” he said, adding “we feel that we now are in a position to offer to the country the most resilient product that is available with modern technology”.

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One year later, Chief Minister pleased with progress after Hurricane Irma

One year later, Chief Minister pleased with progress after Hurricane Irma

By Kenton X. Chance

THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Sept 24, CMC — Chief Minister Victor Banks says he is pleased with the progress this British Overseas Territory has made in the year since it was impacted by Hurricane Irma that also  devastated a number of other Caribbean countries.

“I am extremely satisfied. I think we have done extremely well in Anguilla with the recovery process, as opposed to a number of other places that are still suffering as a result of it,” Banks told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

Chief Minister Victor Banks (CMC Photo)

Irma was the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic region and claimed at least 130 lives as it made its way through the Lesser Antilles last September. The storm left USS64.76 billion in damage, making it the fifth-costliest tropical cyclone on record.

But one year later, Banks was happy to report that the electricity grid in Anguilla and the island’s telecommunications services were operating again.

“… the schools, have plans in place for reconstruction and rehabilitation, the port facilities at Blowing Point are being restored, the building has not started yet but we have put in place some temporary arrangements that we are improving on, as we speak, for the tourism season — a much more permanent temporary arrangement than the ones we have now in preparation for the construction of a state of the art terminal building in that area,” he told CMC.

The airport, an important piece of infrastructure in this tourism-dependent nation, is functional and is preparing to accept night flights.

“So, generally, I think that we have come a long way, restored ourselves to a level of normalcy,” Banks said, adding “the community is getting it together.

“Homes are being rebuilt, repaired and there are still a small group of persons, especially persons who had challenges with their homes even before hurricane Irma that we still have to provide assistance for,” he said, adding that Hurricane Irma was the most severe weather event of recorded history to make landfall.

“It was a Category 5 and being a part of the experience myself, I know the winds were gusting. It has been recorded way over 185 miles per hour (mph). Some persons have reported somewhere in the region of 210 mph.”

Banks said he was grateful that the storm was a fast-moving one, passing over the 91 km square island, which is approximately 16 miles long by three miles wide, in six to seven hours.

The 70-year-old politician said that other storms have taken up to 12 and as much as 18 hours to pass over the island.

“The impact of it in Anguilla was mainly in terms of the destruction of homes and destruction of the utility distribution system. Twenty-five per cent of the electricity poles were down, but, in addition to that, there was damage to the electricity distribution network, the wiring and so on, in various areas of the island, to the extent that we were without electricity for many, many months.”

Electricity was restored to the entire island in December 2017, just three months after the hurricane.

Anguilla relies heavily on tourism and, for the most part, the hotel plants were severely damaged.

“As a consequence, many of the properties were not able to open before the first quarter of this year. Obviously, with the hotel plants down, being the main provider of employment, some two to three thousand persons were directly affected in that sector, not to mention the businesses that provide services and support for that sector as well.

“So customs revenue being our main source of income and accommodation tax being the other, you would imagine how this would have impacted our economy.”

As regards housing, Banks told CMC that Anguilla was fortunate in that construction is informed by the experience of major hurricanes such as Hurricane Donna in 1960 and Hurricane Louise in 1995.

“The kind destruction that came as a result encouraged persons to build more study homes, so, I would say 75 per cent of the homes in Anguilla have concrete roofing. As a consequence, most of the damage was to windows and doors, and in those cases where there were other forms of roofing, maybe 30 to 40 per cent of those homes were damaged again.”

The road infrastructure was not severely damaged but there are areas where there is need for support, he said, noting that the community and extended families came together and made sure that persons did not remain in emergency shelters for extended periods of time.

Banks, however, said there are a number of persons who still have severe damage to their homes, which they are in the process of rebuilding.

And while, in some cases, the insurance companies, “came out very well and people were able to respond to the damage within a short period of time” there are still instances where the insurers were not as ready in providing support as expected.

“… but there is a definite move to correct that issue and try to find as much support as possible,” Banks said, noting that some persons were not insured and would need assistance from several agencies, including the government, persons in the community, and philanthropic organisations.

“The hotel sector came together and formed a relief fund that supported a number of persons across the island and the government put in place a small programme of assistance for person who would have lost doors, windows and certain other issues impacting their homes, as well as the need for persons who are out of work.”

The Chief Minister said that his administration provided a compensation programme for persons who lost jobs in the hotel sector as a result of Hurricane Irma.

They were provided with support over the last six months after the storm to get them back on track, meet some of their obligations and prepare themselves for the workplace, he said, noting that while the population was generally prepared, he observed that too many persons waited until the last minute to do so.

“The level of preparedness took place over a shorter period than is advisable. I think that we need to put programme for readiness is in place much earlier,” he told CMC.

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TS Kirk 2018-09-27 at 6.37.00 PM

Region urged to track progress of Tropical Storm Kirk

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 27, CMC (Adapted) – A tropical storm warning has been issued for Barbados and St. Lucia after the depression Kirk regenerated into a tropical storm over the Western Tropical Atlantic on Wednesday.

At four o’clock today, Thursday, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Matinique and even Dominica are experiencing effects from the storm, with winds up to 50 miles per hour. Montserrat seemed to be outside the band of expected effects, but it could experience rain and even some winds, depending on the structure of the storm.

Yesterday, the report was that a tropical storm watch has been into effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines as Kirk, with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour, is located 470 miles east of Barbados and 595 miles east south east of the French island of Martinique.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in its 5.00 am (local time) bulletin, said the center of the storm was located near latitude 11.8 North, longitude 52.7 West and is moving toward the west near 18 mph.

The NHC said that a westward to west-northwestward motion is expected through Friday night and that on the forecast track, Kirk is expected to approach Barbados and the northern Windward Islands Thursday afternoon and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Friday morning.

It said that the winds could strengthen as Kirk moves through the central Lesser Antilles Thursday afternoon and evening. Rapid weakening is expected on Friday after Kirk emerges over theCaribbean Sea.

The NHC said that tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the warning area by Thursday afternoon, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

“Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by Thursday afternoon or evening,” it said, adding that Kirk is expected to produce total rainfall totals of four to six inches with maximum totals of 10 across the northern Windward and southern Leeward Islands from Barbados and St. Lucia northward across Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe.

“These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

September is usually the peak month for Atlantic hurricanes, recording more hurricanes in that basin than any other month on record. The hurricane season ends on November 30.

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