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Tropical Storm Gonzalo continues to strengthen as it moves across the Northern Leeward Islands. At 2.00 pm today, October 13, 2014 Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat and St Kitts/Nevis. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the British Virgin Islands and a Hurricane Watch for Anguilla.

 

THE SITUATION:

At 2.00 pm the center of Tropical Storm Gonzalo was located near latitude 17.4 North and longitude 62.4 West or about 65 miles South East of St Martin. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph with higher gusts. Tropical Storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. The system is moving toward the west northwest near 10 mph and this general motion is expected to continue today followed by a turn toward the northwest tonight.

Surf and sea swells generated from Gonzalo are presently affecting the Leeward Islands from Dominica Northward. These swells are likely to cause life threatening surf and rip current conditions.

PROGNOSIS:

According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Gonzalo is expected to strengthen to Hurricane status by this evening. Hurricane conditions are expected in the British Virgin Islands by tonight. It is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches with isolated amounts up to 6 inches across the Leewards Islands as well as the British Virgin Islands.

IMPACT AND NATIONAL ACTIONS:

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

Anguilla

A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for Anguilla on October 12 and remains in effect. The Chair of the Emergency Committee was briefed yesterday and all essential personnel were placed on alert.

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda are under Tropical Storm Warning as of 1:30 pm, Sunday October 12, 2014. The Prime Minister and key agencies were briefed yesterday. Additionally, all district volunteers were notified and ready to open shelters if required. National Emergency Operations Centre has been activated. With regard to transportation services, the Airport has been closed and Ferry services have been suspended.

British Virgin Islands

The Tropical Storm Warning issued for the BVI on Sunday, October 12 was upgraded to Hurricane Warning at 11:00 am on Monday October 13. On receipt of the warning, all critical agencies as well as the Governor were notified. The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) advised that the National Emergency Operations Centre has been fully activated. All the necessary preparedness actions are being addressed.

Montserrat

Montserrat is under Tropical Storm Warning. All department heads, the Governor’s Office and the Premier were alerted and all necessary preparedness actions have been undertaken. The airport has been closed with proposed reopening at 6:00 am tomorrow. Ferry services have been suspended until further notice.

St Kitts/Nevis

St Kitts/Nevis remains under Tropical Storm Warning. The Emergency Operations Centre has been partially activated. The Government announced the closure of schools and the airport and suspended the ferry service as precautionary measures in anticipation of the passage of Tropical Storm Gonzalo. The Public Works Department is on high alert and only essential services are on duty.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:

The Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit (CU) is in constant contact with the threatened states as listed above, and their Sub-Regional Focal Point, Antigua and Barbuda. CDEMA stands ready to provide assistance if this should become necessary.

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology has been providing the CDEMA CU with 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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