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According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, as of 5:00 p.m. today the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 14.8 north and longitude 58.6 west or about 125 miles NE of Barbados.  Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph and this motion is expected to continue during the next day or so.  On the forecast track the center of Maria will reach the Lesser Antilles early tonight and Saturday and be near the Virgin Islands by Saturday night.  Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts.  Gradual strengthening is possible during the next 48 hours. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles mainly to the northeast of the center.

Tropical storm winds are expected to reach the Lesser Antilles by late today then spread north-westward over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday and Saturday night.

Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches over the central to northern Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the British Virgin Islands and Dominica.

A Tropical Strom Warning means that tropical storm force winds will start to impact the state in 36 hours.

National Actions:

Montserrat:

  • The National Disaster Office convened a Planning meeting yesterday with the Governor and committees and have activated their National Disaster Plan.
  • Have advised the general public.
  • Have advised the marine  community to move their vessels to safe harbour.
  • The Ministry of Works have prepositioned heavy equipment.
  • Have conducted checks of their radio and communication system.
  • Will continue to conduct communication checks with the sub-regional and regional mechanisms.

Antigua:

  • The National Office of Disaster Services has submitted a situation report to CDEMA.
  • Shelters have been opened in each community. Those living in low-lying areas have been advised to move to higher ground.
  • The NEOC will be partially activated today Friday, September 9, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.
  • As the sub-regional focal point they have contacted National Disaster Offices within the Eastern sub-region and is maintaining BB contact.
  • The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) held stakeholder meetings Thursday in preparation for Tropical Storm Maria.
  • Mariners have been advised to take every precaution as early as possible to protect their vessels.
  • Employers have been encouraged to make arrangements to complete workplace preparations within a reasonable timeframe to allow employees to go home and take care of their business.
  • Farmers have been asked to assess the state of their produce and determine whether harvesting is necessary to reduce losses.
  • Livestock owners were also asked to take the appropriate action to secure their animals in a manner that will not cause them to be a nuisance to others.

Anguilla:

  • A meeting of Disaster Committee was convened this morning.
  • The air and seaports remain open.
  • Schools are open only half day.  Banks are open until 2:00 p.m.
  • The Honourable Deputy Governor advised public officers to take all reasonable steps to secure their work spaces before leaving work today.
  • The National Disaster Office has been providing updates to the public via radio and press release. Residents in low lying and flood prone areas should guard against these hazards and move to a safe location. All residents are urged to continue listening to Radio Anguilla, local radio and television stations as updates will be provided if conditions change significantly.
  • Has made contact with the Sub-regional Focal Point, Antigua.


St. Kitts and Nevis:

  • The National Disaster committee convened a pre-strike meeting yesterday, September 8, 2011.
  • Maintain constant contact with Met office.
  • The business sector have been  encouraged to open an extra hour today to allow residents to complete their hurricane preparedness shopping.
  • Employers have been urged to allow employees time off today to complete their personal preparations.
  • Residents in low lying areas have been urged to seek shelter on higher ground.  However no public shelters are open.
  • Releases have been issued to residents. Residents are encouraged to continue to monitor local media for further updates and advisories.
  • The Public is advised to stay indoors tomorrow.

Dominica:

  • The National Disaster Office submitted the first sitrep regarding Tropical Storm Maria.
  • At 9:00 a.m. NEPO Committee held an emergency meeting at the Office of Disaster Management in Jimmit. At that meeting the following decisions were taken:
    • All school activities should end at 1:00 p.m. today.
    • All Fishermen should secure their boats and all fishing equipment immediately.
    • Farmers should secure their holdings including greenhouses and take the necessary steps to protect animals.
    • Residents and persons traversing the Layou River are especially asked to exercise caution.
    • Residents of the Layou River area are requested to pay particular attention to orders for evacuation which may be issued by the Department of Local Government, if necessary.
    • Employers in the public and private sector are advised to consider allowing employees living in areas prone to flooding and landslides the necessary time to get to their homes.
  • A press statement was read by the Hon. Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica and was made available to all media houses. The statement concentrated on the areas discussed at the meeting.
  • No shelters are activated, however shelters managers placed on stand by.
  • The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) partially activated and will be manned through the night

Virgin Islands:

The Governor made a public statement warning citizens to continue to the monitor the system.  The National Disaster office will continue monitor and provide updates to residents.  They will keep in ontact with CDEMA and the Met Office.

Regional Actions:

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU) has made contact with all of the National Disaster Offices expected to be affected by the approaching storm.  The CU continues to monitor Tropical Storm Maria and incoming reports from its Participating States and remains ready to respond if necessary.

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

 

Vacancies

CDEMA Annual Reports