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According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, as of 11:00 a.m. today (Friday, 3/8/12) the centre of Tropical Storm Ernesto was located near latitude 13.7 North and longitude 62.3 West or about 90 miles west of Saint Lucia. Ernesto is moving towards the west near 21 mph and this motion is expected to continue over the next two days. On the forecast track Ernesto will be moving across eastern and central Caribbean Sea during the next 48 hours. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 85 miles from the center. Little change in intensity is expected today but some strengthening is forecasted thereafter.

Ernesto is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 3 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches over the Windward Islands through Friday.

All Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches have been discontinued.

Barbados:
Tropical Storm Ernesto passed 30 miles north of Barbados with 2 reported incidents of trees falling on two houses (one in Saint Michael parish and the other in St John).

  • All commercial activities are back to normal (including the re-opening of the Grantley Adams International Airport).
  • The NEOC was deactivated at 5:46 a.m. on Friday August 3, 2012 after the last Advisory on TS Ernesto was sent out.

Saint Lucia:
Tropical Storm Ernesto passed south of Saint Lucia earlier this morning with no damage reported thus far. Both Soufriere and Canaries reported a 2 hour power outage which occurred from around 8:00 a.m.
Service has been restored.

  • The Prime Minister shut down the Nation until 12:00 noon.
  • The Flood Early Warning System for Corinthe was activated.
    • Grand Riviere Water Level Alert MSG: This is an automated alarm sent from station Grand Riviere at 08/03/2012
    • The standard operating procedures for the FEWS was activated and followed
  • UWI Open Campus Saint Lucia closed their offices today due to the passage of Tropical Storm Ernesto. The English Language Proficiency (ELPT) examination scheduled for 1.00 p.m. today has been rescheduled and a new date was announced by the Registrar.
  • The Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority informed the public that there will be no garbage collection, today, Friday, August 3, 2012 due to the inclement weather associated with Tropical Storm Ernesto.
  • Residents in areas prone to flooding and landslides advised to take all necessary precautions against these hazards

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:
The Hon. Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, in a live radio broadcast this morning stated the following:

  • All government offices will be opened today.
  • All Airports in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will re-open today from 8:00 a.m. (The Director of Airports requested that all workers scheduled to work this morning report for duty as normal.)
  • The National Emergency Operation Centre remains activated.
  • All residents especially those in the North-Eastern and North- Western end of mainland St. Vincent are asked to exercise caution as the island can still be impacted by heavy showers, isolated thunderstorms and some gusty winds.

Dominica:
Dominica is experiencing some rain and the public was advised to remain on alert for any eventuality especially along the western coast line and vulnerable inland areas prone to landslides and mudslides.

Grenada:
Grenada is experiencing some rain and is monitoring areas that are prone to flooding.Containers blown down by Tropical Storm Ernesto

Jamaica:

  • The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is monitoring the system.
  • Preliminary preparations have started.
  • The Prime Minister and members of the National Advisory Committee were briefed on the possible impact from Tropical Storm Ernesto, updated on the actions taken to date and notified on the critical pre-impact actions to be taken.
  • Pre- impact Scenario planning – using similar storms impacting Jamaica in the past.
  • Marine interests, especially local fishermen and other small craft operators should make plans to secure their vessels and gear.

Regional Actions:
The CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU)

The CDEMA CU remains in contact with the National Disaster Offices that were in the projected track of Tropical Storm Ernesto. The CU continues to monitor Tropical Storm Ernesto and incoming reports from its Participating States. It remains ready to respond if necessary.

The Eastern Caribbean Donor Group (ECDG)

The ECDG has been in contact with CDEMA and its other members and development partners as they monitor Tropical Storm Ernesto.

The ECDG is standing by to provide support to the Eastern Carribean if requested.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

PAHO has been actively engaging the States and has been sharing information on the Health Sector preparations with CDEMA and the ECDG.

United Nations Office foir the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA)

A senior representative from UN OCHA has contacted CDEMA and indicated his agency’s readiness to provide assistance to the region if required.

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH)

CIMH hosted an “On Line” discussions (via ELLUMINATE), with representatives from the CDEMA CU, the Metrological Offices and National Disaster Offices in the region at 9:30 a.m. this morning. The discussion included outputs from the Caribbean Dewetra Platform on the Tropical System. Participants discussed the scenarios and projections for Tropical Storm Ernesto as it moves into the Caribbean Sea.

The CDEMA 24 hour contact number is 246-425-0386

Summary of National Actions:
Below are some of the actions taken over the last 24 hours by the countries that were in the projected path of Tropical Storm Ernesto. Even though most of the actions were discontinued today, it serves to highlight the serious approach, deciciveness and high level leadership in response to the thteat from Tropical Storm Ernesto.

Barbados:

  • Activated the National Disaster Plan
  • Partially activated the National Emergency Operations Centre and monitored the storm until 5:46 a.m Friday (3/8/12)
  • Sent out seven advisories to the CDEMA and the general public.
  • Advised the marine community to move their vessels to safe harbour.
  • Conducted checks of their radio and communication system.
  • Conducted communication checks with the sub-regional and regional mechanisms (Saint Lucia)
  • Closed the Grantley Adams International Airport from 12:00 midnight to 10:00 a.m. Friday (3/8/12)
  • Opened six (6) public shelters

Saint Lucia:

  • The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) sent out 4 Briefing Notes for the Prime Minister, National Emergency Management Advisory Council (NEMAC) and CDEMA – Updating on the storm and highlighting areas for decision making.
  • Activated their National Disaster Plan on Thursday (2/8/12)
  • Issued advisories to the general public – advising Saint Lucian residents in areas prone to flooding and landslides to take all necessary precautions against these hazards
  • Have Conducted a pre-strike Meeting at 3:00 p.m. Thursday (2/8/12)
  • Activated the NEOC
  • Advised the marine community to move their vessels to safe harbour - Marine interest,s especially local fishermen and other small craft operators should make plans to secure their vessels and gear.

Some of the other actions carried out by Saint Lucia were:

  • Prime Minister, who is out of State, was briefed as was the Leader of the Opposition.
  • CDEMA and Partners briefed on preparations.
  • Radio communications between Barbados and Saint Lucia have been tested. Tests with District Committees also carried out.
  • Saint Lucia Cadet Corps placed on stand by while the NEMO Auxiliary Corps activated
  • All District Disaster Committees are now activated
  • Pre -strike meeting held at 3pm on 2/8/12 with Acting Prime Minister
  • Radio contact with CDEMA established

St. Vincent & the Grenadines:

The Prime Minister addressed the nation in his capacity as Chairman of NEMO. He also chaired the National Emergency Council meeting at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday (2/8/12) and made the following declarations:

  • Activation of the National Disaster Plan
  • Activation of NEOC
  • Tropical Storm Warning in effect
  • Fisheries Unit to contact all the fisher folk in the country and to ask/advise? them to secure their boats and other fishing equipment.
  • Chief Shelter Manager to begin the process of opening emergency shelters with immediate effect
  • The E T Joshua, J. F. Mitchell, Canouan, Union Island and Mustique Airports will not be opened as scheduled. There will be no flights operating tomorrow from any of these airports until, tentatively, about 4.00.in the evening.
  • Closure of all Government Offices tomorrow - only essential service agencies will be required to work.
  • Residents in low lying areas urged to seek shelter on higher ground. Releases have been issued to residents.
  • Residents are encouraged to continue to monitor local media for further updates and advisories.

Dominica:

  • Commenced monitoring the system from Wednesday (1/8/12)
  • Declared Tropical Storm Warning on Thursday (2/8/12)
  • Contacted CDEMA and key officials , providing update on national actions
  • Circulated two Special Public Notices
  • Activated their National Disaster Plan

Grenada:

The National Disaaster Management Agency (NaDMA) commenced monitoring the system on Tuesday (31/7/12). A Tropical Storm Watch was declared on Thursday (2/8/12)

  • NaDMA continued monitoring the storm until Friday (3/8/12).
  • Distributed regular bulletins from the Met Office to the members of the National Emergency Advisory Council and all other stakeholders.
 

Vacancies

CDEMA Annual Reports