Archive | Regional

TS Isaac - Image 2018-09-13 at 12.37.52 PM

Tropical Storm Isaac closes down Montserrat?

NOTICE

Cabinet has taken a decision to close all schools and government offices at 12 noon today for the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac. The private sector is also encouraged to close their businesses at 12 noon today as well, especially those with parents who have school-aged children.

According to Major Alvin Ryan, Interim Director at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA), although, tropical storm conditions on Montserrat are not expected to get significantly worst, they are not anticipated to improve before 3 pm today and significant rainfall activity is forecast for this afternoon. Therefore, Mr Ryan says to err on the side of caution, all schools, government offices be closed at mid-day and the private sector is encouraged to do likewise.

By B. Roach

As The Montserrat Reporter is not obliged to carry ‘notices’ provided to us merely as information with no request for ‘paid’ publication which then obliges us, we cannot help but editorialise on what we consider to be poor decisions made without due regard for the economic status of the country. We of course regard this merely as a Notice to us, not otherwise, but find it aggravating. Oh for several reasons, not all mentioned here!

The very nature of the NDPRAC statement outlining the status of TS (Tropical Storm) Isaac suggests “to err on the side of caution’ is very questionable as to the understanding of the information available from all sorts of sources.

Along with what they are saying, for those concerned a constant look at the www.themontserratreporter.com does provide simple guide and information to the weather status affecting Montserrat from www.AccuWeather.com. We use also additional sources. There you will find hourly weather situations. E.g. Today, unlike earlier in the forecasts which promised possible thunderstorms etc. it shows showers and cloudy conditions from time to time into the evening. Tomorrow a national day of mourning , the passing of former CM Bertrand Osborne – is a holiday.

The question when all other circumstances, including ‘official’ forecasts should this encourage our government to take a decision to close down the country for the rest of the day, when the possible worst would have past. (See diagrams here).

current information:

Center location already west of the most affected islands, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe

TS Isaac – Image 2018-09-13 at 12.37.52 PM – (See Montserrat outside the ball of activity!

These decisions are so symptomatic of the miserable state Montserrat has evolved into the over the past several years. Unfortunately, we see this situation as continuing for some time, throughout this decade, already too long especially as one listens to the ongoing discussions regarding an inquiry invoked by the UK Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) into the UK’s future relationship with the OT’s. We will later inform of some 11-year-olds opinion on the matter.

And also the ill-advised and misguided, unprepared and bad futuristic calls being made these days.

l8r…

 

 

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Featured, Hurricane, Local, News, Opinions, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

CARICOM press release

CARICOM extends condolences on passing of former Montserrat Chief Minister

 

 

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     CARICOM Secretary-General

CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque

Mr. Bertrand Osborne, OBE, OD

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has expressed the Community’s condolences to the family of Montserrat’s former Chief Minister Mr Bertrand Osborne and to the Government and people, on his passing.   
 
Mr Osborne, who died last week Tuesday, served as Chief Minister of Montserrat from November 13th 1996 to August 27th 1997, a particularly difficult time in the island’s history during the height of the volcanic crisis.

Ambassador LaRocque, in his Message of Condolence to Montserrat’s Premier Mr. Donaldson Romeo,  lauded Mr. Osborne’s dedication to politics and the private sector, noting that his “heightened sense of social responsibility will long be remembered in his native land.”
 
“He will be remembered for his integrity, honesty and trustworthiness which has been acknowledged by all regardless of political affiliation. The Community extends its condolences to his wife Lystra, his children and the entire Osborne family and the Government and people of Montserrat,” the Message stated.

Posted in CARICOM, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Isaac forecast 2015-09-13 (THURSDAY) at 2.00 PM

Tropical Storm Isaac (Update)

by Bennette Roach

TS Isaac Image 2018-09-12

Isaac forecast 2015-09-13 (THURSDAY) at 2.00 PM

The National Disaster Preparedness Response Advisory Committee (NDPRAC) met today, Tuesday September 11th, 2018 to review Montserrat’s preparedness for Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles late on Wednesday night, (chain of Islands from Grenada north to the BVI).

In a release from the NDPRAC it says: “The Antigua Meteorological Service (with responsibility for Montserrat) has placed Montserrat on a Tropical Storm Watch and expects the island to be affected by tropical storm force winds.”

“NDPRAC notes that there will be no air and sea access to and from Montserrat on Thursday, September 13th, 2018. Air access is expected to resume on Friday September 14th, 2018, weather permitting, whilst ferry operations are expected to resume on Saturday September 15th, 2018.”

Meanwhile, NDPRAC NDPRAC continues to advise that all residents and visitors secure their properties, businesses and livestock in preparation for the impending storm.

A further update is expected later today when from sources, it is expected they will advise a further downgrading of the storm, but no doubt plans except for schools, government buildings etc. will be firmly determined.

Funeral services for Bertrand Osborne

Meanwhile, funeral and burial plans for Hon. Bertrand Osborne former Chief Minister have been postponed to Saturday.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Environment, Hurricane, Local, News, OECS, Regional, Travel0 Comments

Kidnapped wife of businessman rescued, no ransom paid

Kidnapped wife of businessman rescued, no ransom paid

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Sept 11, CMC – The 47-year-old wife of a businessman was rescued by police on Monday night four days after she was kidnapped while returning from a gym in southern Trinidad.

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith told a news conference late Monday night that no ransom had been paid for the Natalie Pollonais, a mother of three and the wife of Jason Pollonais, a director of Inland and Offshore Contractors Ltd.

Natalie Pollonais

Three people, including two police officers have been taken into custody as a result of the rescue operation

Natalie Pollonais is with us. She has been extracted, she’s alive and well. This was a clinical operation that took place for the last four days and nights. Mrs Pollonais was brought straight to the Police Admin Building. I spoke to her and she’s in good condition. She is unharmed and no ransom was paid,” Griffith told reporters, flanked by National Security Minister Stuart Young and Attorney general Faris Al Rawi.

“This was kidnapping for ransom. I am not going into the specifics. We were able to pinpoint and target the area. It was immense work,” Griffith said, adding that a number of tactical units were involved in the search and rescue mission, including the Anti-Kidnapping Unit (AKU), Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit (OCIU), Special Branch, Strategic Services Agency (SSA) and the Tactical Unit.

“The whole operation was totally intelligence driven. We worked hand-in-hand. It was a co-ordinated effort (which) we never saw in a while,” said Griffith, adding that “until we apprehend all of the individuals involved in this situation”, the area where the woman was rescued would not be made known.

“This sends a signal to all criminal elements…it is not business as usual,” said Griffith, who was recently appointed to the post four years after Canadian Dwayne Gibbs resigned.

We can never have a crime-free country. What we would do is continue to provide the deterrent, with the assistance of the State, for us to ensure the safety and security of this country,” Griffith said.

Young told reporters that the Keith Rowley government’s position is that “we will continue to support our law enforcement agencies and authorities.

“Today we can breathe a sigh of relief. We just chalk this one up to a lot of hard work and a bit of luck,” Young said.

Posted in CARICOM, International, Local, News, Police, Regional1 Comment

IsaacDowngraded

IsaacDowngraded

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 11, CMC – Hurricane Isaac was inching its way towards the Lesser Antilles on Tuesday after losing steam and downgraded to a strong tropical storm over the Central tropical Atlantic.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that the storm, located near latitude 14.6 North, longitude 48.1 West, has sustained maximum winds of 70 miles per hour (mph) and was about 880 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

“Isaac is moving towards the west near 14 mph.  This general motion is expected to continue through the end of the week. On the forecast track, Isaac should move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday,” the NHC said.

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

St Lucia Mango festival

First Saint Lucia Mango Festival gathered 500 visitors!

OECS Media release

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 — The OECS and EU sponsored Saint Lucia Mango Festival held last week met all expectations as the event brought together 16 exhibitors and 500 participants at the Constitution Park in Castries.

The festival aimed at raising public awareness on the Mango Biodiversity Project which was started in 2017 in order to limit land erosion in vulnerable riverbanks. The high soil stabilisation capacity of the mango tree enables a bio solution to this issue in Saint Lucia where 6.000 have already been planted. Mrs La Force-Haynes highlighted the success of the endeavour.    

The Festival was very well received by the public. We had about 16 participants who showcased different products made with mango and at least 500 visitors today. We hope to make the Saint Lucia Mango Festival an annual event ! Environmental Education Officer Nicole La Force-Haynes explained.  

On a regional level, The Saint Lucia Mango Festival formed part of the European Union funded GCCA iLand Resilience Project on climate change adaptation and sustainable land management. The GCCA project which started in 2014 includes multiple initiatives implemented in collaboration with governments of participating countries.   

Nine OECS Member States are direct beneficiaries of the GCCA Project. It is a 10.6 million euros project and there are various national and regional initiatives supported. Head of the OECS Environmental Sustainability Cluster Chamberlain Emmanuel stated.

Projects undertaken in the scope of GCCA iland Resilience encompasses coastal protection work in the British Virgin Islands and Saint Kitts and Nevis as well as rainwater harvesting in Grenada and Montserrat. Other physical adaptations measures coordinated by the OECS Commission are expected to contribute to a more climate resilience Eastern Caribbean in the future.

https://youtu.be/L3AYjyvzV34

First Saint Lucia Mango Festival gathered 500 visitors

Saint Lucia Mango Festival – stand of fresh fruit juices

St Lucia Mango festival – stand of brownies

Saint Lucia Mango Festival – mango jelly and mango cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Lucia Mango Festival – stand of mango cakes

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Local, News, OECS, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

OECS - US Ambasador and Jules 2

US Ambassador Pays Courtesy Visit On the OECS Commission

US Ambassordor to OECS, H.E. Linda Taglialatela and OECS Director General Didacus Jules

OECS Media Release

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 — United States Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) H.E. Linda Taglialatela paid a courtesy visit today on Director General of the Organisation Didacus Jules.

During the meeting various issues of mutual interest were discussed including the status of US funded projects currently underway in the OECS region, and the progress of reconstruction efforts in Member States affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The discussions also focused on issues of political and economic concern to both the US and OECS Member States.

On matters concerning key areas for cooperation between the Organisation and the United States, the Ambassador expressed the desire of the United States to remain engaged with the OECS in order to address issues of concern and to enhance future prospects for cooperation.  Collaboration between the United States and the OECS is facilitated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which is a major development partner of the Organisation.

The Director General apprised the Ambassador of the new initiatives currently being undertaken by the Organization, as well as progress made towards regional integration.

Both sides expressed the view that they will continue to maintain contact to share information and to discuss matters of interest particularly related to the economic development and security of the OECS region.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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, Featured, 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

0

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

Dr Didacus Jules signs MOU 20180731_165047

OECS and CGSS of Guadeloupe Sign Cooperation Agreement on Healthcare

On Thursday, August 23, 2018 — Efforts to facilitate the ease of access to medical care in the French Departments of the Eastern Caribbean for nationals of OECS Member States were reinforced by a recent Cooperation Agreement signed by the OECS Commission and the General Social Security Fund of Guadeloupe (Caisse Generale Sécurité Sociale – CGSS).

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Dr Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission and Mr Henri Yacou, General Director of CGSS.

Inter alia, the Agreement seeks to:

  1. Address the administrative, logistical and financial barriers that OECS Member States face when accessing health services in the French Departments in the Eastern Caribbean; and
  2. Facilitate the exchange of information and capacity building in an effort to support the development of regional approaches to health services and the portability of health benefits backed by adequate health insurance.

The MOU follows a visit of the CGSS General Director, Mr Henri Yacou, and his team to the OECS Commission’s offices in Saint Lucia in June 2018.

Dr Didacus Jules said, “We are very aware of the exorbitant costs associated with extra-regional travel for medical care. The Commission has been actively seeking to create linkages with our French neighbours to expand access to specialised health care within the region and this agreement with the CGSS in Guadeloupe is a materialisation of these efforts. We look forward to deepening areas of cooperation in the years ahead.”

Mr Henri Yacou informed, “It’s a real pleasure to have signed this agreement between CGSS and OECS.”

“I sincerely wish that this project will facilitate the free movement of citizens of the OECS to access health care in the best conditions possible.”

The CGSS team is presently working on a plan for:

  • A pilot project in the OECS with a French health insurance company;   
  • Unique identification numbers for citizens of Member States; and
  • A financially and legally secure partnership with hospital establishments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Martin.

 The Agreement came into effect in July 2018 and will last, in the first instance, for a period of three years.

Posted in Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

Newsletter

Archives