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Message: At 2.00a.m this morning (August 1) Bertha became the second named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season. At 11.00a.m. Tropical Storm warnings have been issued for Dominica, Saint Lucia and The British Virgin Islands. Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin affecting the warning areas from this afternoon.

THE SITUATION: At 11.00 a.m. the center of Tropical Storm Bertha was located near latitude 14.0 North and longitude 58.9 West or about 70 miles North East of Barbados. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center. The system is moving toward the west northwest near 21 mph and this general motion is expected to continue over the next couple of days. Tropical Storm warnings are in effect for Dominica, Saint Lucia and The British Virgin Islands.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours and in this case within the next 24 hours.

PROGNOSIS: According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, on the forecast track, Tropical Storm Bertha is expected to pass north of Barbados during the next several hours and move through the central Lesser Antilles tonight and approach the Virgin Islands on Saturday.

Bertha is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches with isolated amounts up to 6 inches across portions of the Leewards Islands as well as the British Virgin Islands.

NATIONAL ACTIONS: The CDEMA Coordinating Unit has received the following reports from the National Disaster Offices

British Virgin Islands

The emergency operations group met this morning and reported that all the necessary preparedness actions are being addressed The National Emergency Operations Centre has been partially activated

Dominica

An emergency meeting of the National Emergency Planning Organization including the Prime Minister was convened this morning from 9.00a.m -11.00a.m... -to review the emergency readiness and where necessary pre deploy or pre position personnel and equipment in the more vulnerable areas. Residents have also been urged to take all necessary precautions

Saint Lucia

The Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation met with the Prime Minister the Honorable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony and briefed him on Tropical Storm Bertha.

Prime Minister Anthony issued a statement to citizens urging them not to take the storm lightly and reminded residents in areas prone to flooding and landslides to exercise extreme caution and take the necessary precautions to protect life and property. The Prime Minister also stated that Disaster Preparedness Committees have been activated and will be on full alert in the event that they are required to take action after the passage of the system. The Ministry of Infrastructure has already begun to position equipment in the vulnerable areas in the event that roads, drains and fallen trees have to be cleared.

The National Emergency Management Organization has reported that the District Disaster Committees and the Cadet Corps have been placed on standby.

REGIONAL ACTIONS: The Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit (CU) is in contact with the threatened states and their Sub-Regional Focal Points, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda. CDEMA stands ready to provide assistance if this should become necessary.

The CDEMA CU has also contacted members of the Eastern Caribbean Development Partners Group for Disaster Management (EDPGDM) inclusive of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the Regional Security System (RSS), United States Agency for International Development/ Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance` (USAID/OFDA who are all monitoring Tropical Storm Bertha. PAHO is in contact with health disaster coordinators in Dominica and Saint Lucia.

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology has been providing the CDEMA CU with regular tropical briefings to inform scenario planning.

CDEMA will continue to monitor the system and provide updates as is necessary.

CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 425 0386

 

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