Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Montserrat escapes a week of Tropical Storms Danny and Erica

by Bennette Roach

It came as no surprise there was some chaos on Monday with announcements and advice with unspecified authority advised public servants (and other workers) not to come to work and later advising them to come to work at mid-day and then not to show up. Some private sector businesses did open on Monday morning.

Danny naturally did make its presence known. Some light and intermittent showers of rain turned into a brief thunderstorm late on Monday. That to some extent was claimed as justification for earlier advice.

On Sunday the DMCA in a release told residents: “that there should be a partial activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) at 1:00pm today Sunday…there is no need to panic. Just be prepared,” and that, “Public servants and other workers, except those who are part of the operations teams should not report to work on Monday…”

“It was also decided that emergency shelters would be opened at 3:00p.m. for persons who may wish to find that type of accommodation,” the release also advised.

With nothing untoward taking place on Monday, or anything as anticipated might have occurred, on Tuesday both Governor and Premier praised and thanked public servants and officials for their preparations and readiness.

The Premier was first to reveal that the efforts were much of a test: “Hurricane Danny allowed us to assess Montserrat’s state of readiness for events such as these,” expressing his satisfaction at the outcome, “…that we are now in a much better position and state of preparedness than just one week ago.”

Screenshot_2015-08-27-05-20-03Governor Carriere meantime, echoed the sentiments of readiness, “this has been an extremely worthwhile introduction to how Montserrat is set up to handle weather events during the hurricane season.”

She also referred to her freshness to the experience of disaster preparedness and spoke of her impressions, especially in the areas for which she has direct responsibility. “I remain impressed in particular by how the DMCA, the Police, the Royal Montserrat Defence Force and the Red Cross – entities for which I have responsibility in my defence and security role – rallied together to ensure a robust and timely response to the oncoming storm,” she said in a statement.

But as Danny passed and weakened, Storm watches had been prompted for Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. Erika developed from that area of low pressure that forecasters were monitoring.

Local authorities stepped up warnings against complacency as the storm Erika approached.

Screenshot_2015-08-27-11-53-06Erika was then greeted with preparations already place on Wednesday, with forecasters placing the center of the storm, expected to grow stronger after it passed the Leewards, between Antigua and Barbuda. That made Montserrat vulnerable to some impact from the outer bands which as it turned out might have been significant considering what it did later to Dominica when the storm center shifted just south of Montserrat.

In an statement received late on Thursday evening following one around 4.00 p.m. which said there was no all clear – the DMCA issued an ‘all clear’ release: “… assessment of the situation on Montserrat, the Emergency Policy Group is now declaring, an ‘All Clear’ for the island. “There are no reports of injuries, significant damage or residual hazards as a result of Tropical Storm Erika,” it said, “On the advice of Her Excellency the Government, Government Departments will open for business tomorrow at the usual time.”

All was therefore back to normal on Friday, following Thursday when steady but light rain fell for most of the afternoon. The news then began circulating that Dominica had suffered tragically and disastrously from wind and heavy rains which resulted in flooding, landslides and deaths, with a number of people still missing.

According to reports, about 80 per cent of the island was without electricity, water supply was cut off and the main airport was closed due to flooding.

In the meantime, Montserrat’s Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo has expressed solidarity on behalf of the Government and people of Montserrat to the government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica. In a letter to Dominica’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit the Montserrat Premier said that the government and people of Montserrat are saddened by the news of death and devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika overnight Wednesday and Thursday, August 26 – 27.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Bennette Roach

It came as no surprise there was some chaos on Monday with announcements and advice with unspecified authority advised public servants (and other workers) not to come to work and later advising them to come to work at mid-day and then not to show up. Some private sector businesses did open on Monday morning.

Danny naturally did make its presence known. Some light and intermittent showers of rain turned into a brief thunderstorm late on Monday. That to some extent was claimed as justification for earlier advice.

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On Sunday the DMCA in a release told residents: “that there should be a partial activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) at 1:00pm today Sunday…there is no need to panic. Just be prepared,” and that, “Public servants and other workers, except those who are part of the operations teams should not report to work on Monday…”

“It was also decided that emergency shelters would be opened at 3:00p.m. for persons who may wish to find that type of accommodation,” the release also advised.

With nothing untoward taking place on Monday, or anything as anticipated might have occurred, on Tuesday both Governor and Premier praised and thanked public servants and officials for their preparations and readiness.

The Premier was first to reveal that the efforts were much of a test: “Hurricane Danny allowed us to assess Montserrat’s state of readiness for events such as these,” expressing his satisfaction at the outcome, “…that we are now in a much better position and state of preparedness than just one week ago.”

Screenshot_2015-08-27-05-20-03Governor Carriere meantime, echoed the sentiments of readiness, “this has been an extremely worthwhile introduction to how Montserrat is set up to handle weather events during the hurricane season.”

She also referred to her freshness to the experience of disaster preparedness and spoke of her impressions, especially in the areas for which she has direct responsibility. “I remain impressed in particular by how the DMCA, the Police, the Royal Montserrat Defence Force and the Red Cross – entities for which I have responsibility in my defence and security role – rallied together to ensure a robust and timely response to the oncoming storm,” she said in a statement.

But as Danny passed and weakened, Storm watches had been prompted for Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. Erika developed from that area of low pressure that forecasters were monitoring.

Local authorities stepped up warnings against complacency as the storm Erika approached.

Screenshot_2015-08-27-11-53-06Erika was then greeted with preparations already place on Wednesday, with forecasters placing the center of the storm, expected to grow stronger after it passed the Leewards, between Antigua and Barbuda. That made Montserrat vulnerable to some impact from the outer bands which as it turned out might have been significant considering what it did later to Dominica when the storm center shifted just south of Montserrat.

In an statement received late on Thursday evening following one around 4.00 p.m. which said there was no all clear – the DMCA issued an ‘all clear’ release: “… assessment of the situation on Montserrat, the Emergency Policy Group is now declaring, an ‘All Clear’ for the island. “There are no reports of injuries, significant damage or residual hazards as a result of Tropical Storm Erika,” it said, “On the advice of Her Excellency the Government, Government Departments will open for business tomorrow at the usual time.”

All was therefore back to normal on Friday, following Thursday when steady but light rain fell for most of the afternoon. The news then began circulating that Dominica had suffered tragically and disastrously from wind and heavy rains which resulted in flooding, landslides and deaths, with a number of people still missing.

According to reports, about 80 per cent of the island was without electricity, water supply was cut off and the main airport was closed due to flooding.

In the meantime, Montserrat’s Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo has expressed solidarity on behalf of the Government and people of Montserrat to the government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica. In a letter to Dominica’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit the Montserrat Premier said that the government and people of Montserrat are saddened by the news of death and devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika overnight Wednesday and Thursday, August 26 – 27.