Archive | Climate/Weather

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-10 at 8.53.01 PM

Hurricane Isaac 2018 update: Still a Category 1 on path for Caribbean

A toss up – as to which way a curve away from the Islands or a weakening by time it gets to the Islands. Either way the authorities are cautioning “Be Prepared’.
 
Hurricane Isaac remained a minimal Category 1 hurricane on Monday afternoon but is forecast to strengthen in the next day or two. It could begin to weaken later this week as it approaches the Caribbean. (National Hurricane Center)
Hurricane Isaac remained a minimal Category 1 hurricane on Monday afternoon but is forecast to strengthen in the next day or two. It could begin to weaken later this week as it approaches the Caribbean. (National Hurricane Center)

Hurricane Isaac remained a minimal hurricane on Monday afternoon and continued to track westward on a path that could bring it across the Lesser Antilles by Thursday.

And if that wasn’t enough the National Hurricane Center is also watching a disturbance already in the Caribbean that could become a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico later this week.

But first Isaac. As of 4 p.m. CDT Monday, Hurricane Isaac was located about 1,090 miles east of the Winward Islands and was moving west at 14 mph.

Isaac maintained winds of 75 mph, making it a minimal Category 1 hurricane.

While Isaac hasn’t gained any strength today that could change over the next day or two. Forecasters said Monday afternoon that they weren’t sure why Isaac hasn’t intensified yet.

The hurricane center said weakening should begin by the middle of the week as Isaac nears the Lesser Antilles.

The hurricane center thinks, however, that Isaac will be near or at hurricane strength when it reaches the islands.

Isaac is forecast to continue moving west and pick up a bit of speed through the end of the week.

On that path it will move across the Lesser Antilles on Thursday. The hurricane center said watches may be needed for the islands on Tuesday.

However, the hurricane center noted that confidence in Isaac’s track forecast is on the low side.

That’s because forecast models are split into two factions on its path.

One set of models suggests Isaac could recurve near or east of the Lesser Antilles and miss the islands all together.

However some of the more reliable models show a consistent westward motion across the islands and into the eastern Caribbean.

The hurricane center is sticking with the westward path for now but added a disclaimer: “Given the spread in the guidance, the confidence in the details of the track forecast beyond the first couple of days is larger than usual.”

Isaac is a small storm, and its strongest winds extend out from the center only about 10 miles.

The hurricane center said the intensity forecast is also difficult.

Storms that small are notoriously challenging to predict because they are more susceptible to environmental changes around them.

Models are also disagree on how how strong — or weak — Isaac will be.

Some models suggest Isaac will steadily weaken as it encounters wind shear in a few days. But yet another one shows Isaac becoming a major hurricane.

Isaac is one of three hurricanes in the Atlantic on Monday.

There’s also Florence, which is a Category 4 as of Monday afternoon and forecast to strike the U.S. as a major hurricane this week, and Category 2 Helene, which is in the far eastern Atlantic and not forecast to affect land.

The hurricane center is also watching a disturbance in the northwest Caribbean that could move into the Gulf of Mexico in a few days.

The hurricane center raised the odds of development to 50 percent on Monday afternoon and said a tropical depression could form Thursday or Friday in the western Gulf.

It was forecast to stay on a west-northwest to northwest path.

The hurricane center warned those along the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to northeastern Mexico to keep an eye on the system.

In addition to Hurricanes Florence, Helene and Isaac there are two tropical disturbances being monitored by the hurricane center. The one in the northwest Caribbean could become a tropical depression by Thursday or Friday. (NHC)

Posted in Climate/Weather, Environment, Hurricane, Local, News, Regional, Travel0 Comments

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-09 at 7.52.14 PM

Tropical storm Isaac now a hurricane as it heads towards the Caribbean

So now a Hurricane Isaac demanding some attention…Montserrat!
Update: Now a Cat 1 hurricane out there East of Montserrat and the chain (Grenada – BVI) – no change and it will smack us Thursday-Friday. Meanwhile Florence well north of the chain roars on to the US eastern mainland also by Friday at Cat 3

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By Caribbean News Now contributor

MIAMI, USA — At 5:00 pm EDT on Sunday, the centre of Tropical Storm Isaac was located about 1,390 miles (2,240 km) east of the Windward Islands, moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h) and is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday night.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, the westward motion is forecast to continue through the end of the week and accelerate during the next 36 hours, with Isaac expected to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Wednesday night or Thursday.

 

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, but weakening is anticipated to begin by the middle of the week as Isaac approaches the Lesser Antilles.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the centre.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence, which is about 720 miles (1,160 km) southeast of Bermuda and about 580 miles (935 km) northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, is forecast to become a major hurricane on Monday.

However, on the forecast track, the centre of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and The Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Aircraft and satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph (140 km/h) with higher gusts. Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). Florence is forecast to become larger over the next few days.

Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Tropical Storm Helene also became a hurricane on Sunday but is expected to remain over open water in the Atlantic as it continues to move away from the Cabo Verde Islands.

Finally, a combination of an upper-level trough and a tropical wave over the northwestern Caribbean Sea is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms between Cuba and Honduras.

Upper-level winds could become somewhat more conducive for some development in a couple of days while the system moves slowly west-northwestward or northwestward.

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

Police officers and rescue workers search for survivors from a building damaged by a landslide caused by a powerful earthquake in Atsuma town in Japan

Powerful quake paralyses Hokkaido in latest disaster to hit Japan

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By Kaori Kaneko and Chang-Ran Kim
Reuters
People look at an area damaged by an earthquake in Sapporo in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo September 6, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

By Kaori Kaneko and Chang-Ran Kim

TOKYO (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake paralyzed Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, killing at least seven people, triggering landslides and knocking out power to its 5.3 million residents.

The death toll from the 6.7-magnitude, pre-dawn quake was likely to rise as rescuers searched houses buried by landslides.

About 33 people were missing and 300 were injured, public broadcaster NHK said. Four people were in cardiopulmonary arrest, a term used before death is officially confirmed.

(graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2oJz6zd)

The quake was the latest in a string of natural disasters to batter Japan after typhoons, flooding and a record-breaking heat wave within the past two months.

Aerial footage showed dozens of landslides exposing barren hillsides near the town of Atsuma in southern Hokkaido, with mounds of red earth and toppled trees piled at the edge of green fields.

The collapsed remains of what appeared to be houses or barns were strewn about.

“It came in four big jerks – boom! boom! boom! boom!” one unidentified woman told NHK. “Before we knew it our house was bent and we couldn’t open the door.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said 25,000 Self-Defense Force troops would be deployed for rescue operations.

The island, a tourist destination about the size of Austria known for its mountains, lakes and seafood, lost its power when Hokkaido Electric Power Co <9509.T> shut down of all its fossil fuel-fired power plants after the quake as a precaution.

It was the first time since the utility was established in 1951 that had happened.

Almost 12 hours later, power was restored to parts of Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital, and Asahikawa, its second-biggest city.

The government said there was damage to Hokkaido Electric’s Tomato-Atsuma plant, which supplies half the island’s 2.95 million households. It could take a week to restore power fully to all residents, Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said.

All trains across the island were halted.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party begins a leadership contest on Friday but said there would be no campaigning through to Sunday. Abe and rival Shigeru Ishiba both canceled campaign media appearances slated for Friday.

‘NOTHING I CAN DO’

Television footage from Sapporo showed crumbled roads and mud covering a main street. Police directed traffic because signal lights were out while drink-vending machines, ubiquitous in Japan, and most ATMs were not working.

“Without electricity, there’s nothing I can do except to write prescriptions,” a doctor in Abira, the town next to Atsuma, told NHK.

Media reported a baby girl at a Sapporo hospital was in critical condition after the power was cut to her respirator. It wasn’t clear if the hospital had a generator.

The quake hit at 3:08 a.m. (1808 GMT Wednesday) at a depth of 40 km (25 miles), with its epicenter about 65 km (40 miles) southeast of Sapporo, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. In Atsuma, it registered a 7 on Japan’s 7-point quake intensity scale, the agency said, revising an earlier measurement.

Hokkaido’s main airport was closed, at least for the day. Debris and water could be seen on the terminal floors.

Kyodo news agency said more than 200 flights and 40,000 passengers would be affected on Thursday alone.

The closure comes just days after Kansai Airport, another major regional hub, in western Japan, was shut by Typhoon Jebi, which killed 11 people and injured hundreds.

The storm, the most powerful to hit Japan in 25 years, stranded thousands of passengers and workers at the airport, whose operator said it would resume some domestic flights on Friday.

In July, torrential rain in west Japan caused flooding that killed more than 200 people and widespread destruction. That was followed by a heat wave that reached a record 41.1 Celsius and led to the deaths of at least 80 people.

FACTORIES HALTED

Farming, tourism and other services are big economic drivers on Hokkaido, which accounts for just 3.6 percent of Japan’s gross domestic product, but there is some industry. Kirin Brewery and Sapporo Breweries both said factories were shut by the power outage.

A series of smaller shocks followed the initial quake, the JMA said. Residents were warned to take precautions.

 

By the afternoon, backhoes and other earth-moving equipment in Atsuma had begun clearing debris.

Japan is situated on the “Ring of Fire” arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Basin.

Northeast Japan was hit by a 9 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011, that triggered a tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people and led to meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Hokkaido’s Tomari nuclear power station, which has been shut since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, suffered a power outage but officials said it was cooling its spent nuclear fuel safely.

Saturday marked the 95th anniversary of the Great Kanto earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area. Seismologists have said another such quake could strike the capital at any time.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Chang-Ran Kim; Additional reporting by William Mallard, Osamu Tsukimori, Aaron Sheldrick, Elaine Lies and Takaya Yamaguchi; Writing by Malcolm Foster; Editing by Paul Tait, Robert Birsel)

Posted in Earthquake, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional, Travel0 Comments

Government condemns “fake news” after earthquakes hit Trinidad and Tobago

Government condemns “fake news” after earthquakes hit Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 22, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government Wednesday criticised people spreading “fake news” about the extent of the damage caused by the magnitude 7.3 earthquake that rocked the oil rich twin island republic on Tuesday.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has since expressed support to Trinidad and Tobago, adding that Havana is ‘ready to attend any emergency”.

Communications and National Security Minister Stuart Young said that while “thankfully we have had no reports of deaths and injuries” there were people, including opposition politicians, who had been using the social media network to disseminate fake news on the incident.

“I want to denounce all of those persons…circulating fake news,” Young told reporters at the weekly post cabinet news conference, adding that “this is very irresponsible, that is something that is unacceptable”.

Young warned that the “mischievous” actions of those irresponsible people “could have a very detrimental effect” on the population and urged ‘all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to act in a responsible manner and not to act in any illegal activity”.

Young said that several government buildings had been closed Wednesday as a result of the quake on Tuesday as engineers and other stakeholders undertake an assessment of the situation. He said the assessment is also being done by private building owners.

“I expect more reports of damages, “he said, adding that he hope the non-loss of lives would remain that way.

On Wednesday, the country was rocked by an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 and Young as well as the seismic Research centre (SRC) of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) warned the population to be prepared for additional aftershocks in the coming days.

“I think we can expect aftershocks…the state will continue to monitor,” Young said, urging citizens not to take unnecessary risks” and should not crowd the various health centers and hospitals unless it is necessary..

He said the police were out in full force to maintain law and order and young appealed again to citizens to ‘continue to be each other’s keeper.

“At the end of the day we are all our brothers and sisters,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Company (T7TEC) said that nearly 100 per cent of its customers are “back on supply, with individual reports and small local outages being attended to”

It said that overnight the majority of those reports were completed as a result of additional crews being called out in all areas.

“Bearing in mind that aftershocks are expected, we want to share some safety tips with customers:

During or immediately after an earthquake we encourage customers to turn off breakers to protect appliances in the event of surges. When outdoor, stay away from poles and wires as that may be shaking, in case they fall. If poles or wires are on the ground treat as if they are live! Stay away and contact T&TEC.
“ Similarly, if trees fall on lines or poles, do not touch them as they can act as a conductor for electricity and electrocute or shock the individual.”

Posted in Earthquake, International, Local, Regional0 Comments

Trinidad hit by strong aftershock

Trinidad hit by strong aftershock

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 22, CMC – An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 rattled Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday, sending an already frightened population out of building into the streets.

The Seismic Research centre (SRC) of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), said that the quake, which occurred at 9.27 a.m. time, followed Tuesday’s major earthquake that registered 7.3.

Wednesday’s quake was located Latitude: 10.60N, Longitude: 62.87W and at a depth of 80 km.

It was felt 40 km east south east of Carúpano, Venezuela and 100 km north north east of  Maturín, Venezuela

“No tsunami warning or watch has been issued related to this morning’s 5.9 aftershock. Please ignore any “information” to this effect,” the SRC said in a statement.

Several building here have suffered structural damage as a result of Tuesday’s massive quake and the SRC has warned Trinidad and Tobago to be on the alert for many more aftershocks.

Several buildings have been damaged in the north-west including the capital, Port of Spain, causing two government offices to remain closed, one small house collapsed, about half a dozen cars crushed by falling walls.

There have been no reports of deaths or injuries as a result of the tremors

Posted in Climate/Weather, Earthquake, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

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Venezuela And Trinidad Struck By Massive, 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake

Huffpost
 
The quake could be felt as far away as Colombia and Grenada. No deaths had been reported.

A massive earthquake rocked Venezuela and the southern Caribbean on Tuesday evening, knocking out power throughout the region and sending people rushing out of buildings.

Preliminary reports from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate a 7.3 magnitude quake struck just 12 miles off Venezuela’s Cariaco Peninsula, its northeasternmost tip. The epicenter is not far from Trinidad’s northwestern coast. The two countries are separated by just seven nautical miles.

It was a little surreal; the country just seemed to shut down for a second. Kevin Farrick, Trinidad and Tobago

There are no reports of fatalities in either country so far. But in Venezuela, The Associated Press indicates there may be injuries from an escalator collapse in Cumana, the closest city to the epicenter. In a public address, Nestor Reverol, the country’s interior minister, asked for patience and insisted that national disaster teams have been dispatched for relief.

In July 1997, a 6.9 quake struck the same Cariaco region, resulting in more than 80 deaths.

In Trinidad, Joan Latchman, a seismologist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, told the AP that Tuesday’s quake was the strongest felt in the country since December 2016.

Stuart Young, Trinidad and Tobago’s minister of national security and communications, gave a televised address on the country’s state-owned network to confirm there were no reports of damage to the island’s infrastructure.

But images quickly flooded social media of downed power lines, toppled store shelves and fallen debris.

Kevin Farrick, a marketing consultant from Port-of-Spain, initially mistook his rocky commute home as car trouble. But once he glanced up to see the traffic lights flashing and lamp posts swaying, he realized it was more than just a bumpy ride.

“Then a transformer exploded and I was like ‘wait a minute, there’s nothing wrong with my car. It’s a damn earthquake!’” Farrick said. Soon after, he noticed people running out of area businesses and government buildings into the streets.

“It was a little surreal; the country just seemed to shut down for a second,” he said.

Many Venezuelans and Trinbagonians are now using Facebook’s check-in tool to mark themselves as “safe’ in the aftermath.

The quake could be felt as far away as Bogota, Colombia as well as several Caribbean islands in the region, including Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Although aftershocks are still being reported, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports no immediate threat of a tsunami to the surrounding region. 

Posted in CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Earthquake, Featured, International, Local, News0 Comments

Massive earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

Massive earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago has been rocked by a massive earthquake, causing serious damage to property in the twin-island republic on Tuesday.

Social media has been flooded with images of destruction to roadways, popular buildings, supermarkets and cars, with some residents announcing that they are safe.

According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, the 6.9 magnitude quake struck a latitude of 10.51 N, a longitude of 62.76 W and a depth of 73 km.

The quake occurred at 5:30pm and lasted for almost a minute. 

Take a look at some of the damage below. 

loopjamaica Massive 6.8 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

 

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

Brexit and housing crisis combining to cause exodus from London, think tank finds

Brexit and housing crisis combining to cause exodus from London, think tank finds

Information that should be of vital interest particularly to the Montserrat discourse

Caitlin Morrison
 
 

A combination of unaffordable housing and Brexit has led to an “exodus” from London, with an increasing number of young people moving elsewhere to live and work, according to new research.

Analysis by think tank Centre for London showed that job numbers in the capital reached 5.9 million at the end of June this year, up 1.9 per cent compared with the same month in 2017 – and the highest level since records began in 1996.

However, the group warned that this was driven by a “significant growth” in the number of people moving away from London to rest of the UK, and a slowdown in international migration, suggesting that the city is become a less desirable place to live and work.

London recorded the slowest rate of population growth in over a decade, at almost half the rate of the previous year, the research revealed.

A spokesperson for Centre for London said: “The continuing affordability crisis and the prospect of Brexit are dampening the city’s appeal, with the former seen as driving the rise in the number of people in their mid-twenties to thirties leaving the capital.”

In July the average rent for London rose above £1,600 for the first time on record, according to the latest Homelet Rental Index, and while house price growth in London has slowed in recent months, the average price in the second quarter of this year was £468,845 – more than double the national average of £214,578.

Meanwhile, the think tank said there were other factors spurring people on to leave the capital, with quality of life indicators such as crime and pollution worsening over the last year.

Figures showed that a balance of 106,000 people moved away from London in the 12 months to mid-2017, up 14 per cent on the previous year, which “suggests that people are looking for an alternative to London to live and work”, Centre for London said.

Net international migration dropped by 34 per cent year-on-year, to the lowest level since 2013.

The research also showed a 16 per cent decline in the number of foreign nationals registering for national insurance numbers, with a 25 per cent drop among EU citizens.

Vicky Pryce, a board member of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said the news on job creation in the capital was “very welcome” but added: “For London, long believed to be better able to absorb shocks like Brexit due to its diversity, housing affordability and rising living costs in the capital [it is] encouraging an exodus.

“Any loss of EU workers and the likelihood of services not being covered by any Brexit deal would leave the City particularly vulnerable.”

The prospect of a no-deal Brexit has become more likely in the last few weeks, with Bank of England boss Mark Carney last week admitting that the chances of the UK leaving the EU with no agreement in place were “uncomfortably high”, and the pound has fallen to 11 month lows against the dollar and the euro off the back of no-deal concerns.

Meanwhile, Silviya Barrett, research manager at Centre for London, said: “While some might interpret the drop in migration and population growth as easing the pressure on infrastructure and public services, in the longer term it has the potential to threaten their viability and significantly damage our economy.”

She added that although unemployment data was encouraging, falling 0.4 per cent to 255,000 since last year, “declining pay levels and stalling productivity are signs that there could be stumbling blocks on the horizon”.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics last month revealed that UK wage growth had slowed to its weakest pace in six months.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional, UK - Brexit0 Comments

Mark Lancaster poses with the crew of RFA Mounts Bay after watching a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise on the small volcanic island of Montserrat.

UK Armed Forces on high alert for hurricane season

News story

The UK’s Overseas Territories will have unwavering military support throughout the 2018 hurricane season, a Defence minister has confirmed.

Mark Lancaster poses with the crew of RFA Mounts Bay after watching a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise on the small volcanic island of Montserrat.
Mark Lancaster poses with the crew of RFA Mounts Bay after watching a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise on the small volcanic island of Montserrat. Crown copyright.

British residents were killed, homes were destroyed and infrastructure was decimated when Irma and Maria, two of the most powerful hurricanes for decades, smashed through the region back-to-back in September 2017.

Mark Lancaster visited Barbados, Antigua and Montserrat this week to reassure locals that the Ministry of Defence is supporting other Government departments to ensure that similar devastation is not repeated.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster said:

No matter what the elements throw at our Overseas Territories this year, we will be there to help them every step of the way throughout 2018 and beyond. We may not be able to prevent natural disasters from occurring, but our world-class military have been planning meticulously to ensure lives are protected and damage is kept to a minimum.

Our citizens in the Caribbean have already shown incredible resilience over the last year and we are determined that when this difficult period is over their local facilities are in a better state than they were before.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mounts Bay will act as the hub of the UK’s response, and the minister was able to see a demonstration of her amphibious capabilities while in Montserrat.

Fleet Auxiliary vessel MOUNTS BAY and her crew conducting a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise in Montserrat.
Fleet Auxiliary vessel MOUNTS BAY and her crew conducting a Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise in Montserrat. Crown copyright.

As well as being able to carry vital aid and equipment, RFA Mounts Bay also has the latest Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter on board to provide aerial support. There is also a medical facility on board, with 10 patient beds for anyone who suffers serious injuries or illness.

The visit also provided an opportunity for Mr Lancaster to speak to island governors and residents about their needs as they continue to recover from last year’s hurricanes.

As well as preparing for this year, RFA Mounts Bay has been in the region since Irma struck and will remain there until 2020 to help restore the islands to normal.

A Wildcat helicopter takes off from RFA Mounts Bay during the Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief Exercise
A Wildcat helicopter takes off from RFA Mounts Bay during the Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise. Crown copyright.

The Government has already committed £142million to support the recovery effort in the affected territories, as well as £300million of UK loan guarantees.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon is currently visiting the British Virgin Islands, which suffered extensive damage, as the Government continues its preparations for 2018.

Posted in Hurricane, International, Local, News, Regional, Security, Videos0 Comments

UK Foreign Office Minister for Overseas Territories to visit BVI

UK Foreign Office Minister for Overseas Territories to visit BVI

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Jul. 29,   CMC – The United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories, Lord Tariq Ahmad, of Wimbledon will visit the territory between July 31 and August 1 to discuss hurricane preparedness and view progress on recovery.

Lord Tariq Ahmad

As part of his two-day visit, the government  says that Lord Ahmad and Premier Dr.   Orlando Smith will visit a number of public sites affected by last year’s hurricanes.

During his visit, Lord Ahmad will be updated on the how the UK’s support is helping recovery efforts and will officially hand over the new purpose-built temporary Court House to the Government.

This court house will allow the Supreme Court and Magistrates’ Court to “function fully while a permanent building is constructed,” the statement said.

  Lord Ahmad will also visit the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mounts Bay, which will remain in the region throughout the hurricane season to provide rapid assistance to islands, if needed.

RFA is a civilian-manned fleet owned by the UK’s Ministry of Defense, whose purpose is to support the Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world.

The BVI Government said Lord Ahmad will meet with the Board of the Recovery and Development Agency “to be updated on their progress and efforts to deliver the six-month accelerated plan ahead of endorsement of the longer term Recovery and Development Plan by the House of Assembly.”

“The UK has played a critical role in assisting the region to recover from last year’s unprecedented and devastating hurricanes, providing aid and support to help British Overseas Territories,” said Lord (Tariq) Ahmad, ahead of the BVI visit. “However, I know there is still more to be done before the islands are fully recovered, and the UK stands ready to help.

“We are already working with partners across the Caribbean to make sure plans are being put in place to prepare for future hurricanes, so we do not see a repeat of last year’s destruction,” he added.

The BVI Government said Lord Ahmad will also “seek to address concerns about the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act when he meets with Premier Smith and the Cabinet.”

In addition, Lord Ahmad will meet with members of the financial services industry, and business and tourism representatives.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Hurricane, International, Local, Police, Regional0 Comments

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