Monday 30 November, 2020

TS Gonzalo: Vincentians must prepare for harsh weather

St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is urging all residents to take Tropical Gonzalo seriously and not to wait last minute to take shelter.  

In an address to the nation this afternoon, (July 23) Gonsalves says the storm should not be taken for granted: “As Prime Minister I am taking this storm very seriously and I want you to do the same.  

It has the potential to develop into a hurricane and impact the island. I urge you not to take the storm likely.  

If it continues on its current path it can impact St Vincent and the Grenadines.”  

SVG is currently under Hurricane Watch.  

 

(Video credit: NBC Radio St Vincent and the Grenadines)

The Prime Minister says at this time Gonzalo is located 810 miles east south east of the southern windward islands, with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour.  

He says the computer forecast models which are used to tell what is likely to happen remains conflicting with great uncertainty on intensity and trajectory.  

However, based on information from the Met Services St Vincent and the Grenadines will begin to feel the impact early Saturday morning (July 25) persisting into Sunday.  

SVG may be affected by moderate to heavy showers, storm force wind and rough seas.  

On its current path, the centre of Gonzalo is expected to pass near the Grenadines on Saturday night.   
The Met Service says Gonzalo has the potential for heavy rainfall which could produce life threatening flash flood and landslides.  

Gonsalves issued this warning: “Persons living in areas prone to flooding such as Georgetown, Buccament, Vermont, Spring Village, South Rivers, Paget farm, Mesopotamia, Union Island, Sandy Bay, Calliquia, Arnos Vale, Kingstown and all those communities that would have been impacted by flooding in the past should take all the necessary precautions.” 

All coastal communities have also been asked to precautions as rough seas can produce storm surge.  

Fisherfolk and mariners should secure their equipment to protect their livelihood.  

In additional, the Vincentian Prime Minister says during this Hurricane Season several measures will be implemented at emergency shelters as SVG continues to manage cases of COVID-19.  

The measures which will be taken at emergency shelters:  

  • Persons must wear face masks at emergency shelters. 

  • Temperature checks will be taken daily. 

  • Families will be placed together at the shelter. 

  • The distance between families and individuals will be maintained. 

  • If a person has flu symptoms it must be reported to the shelter manager so the individual could be placed in a separate area.  

The Prime Minister says if a person has tested positive for COVID-19, has not been cleared but needs shelter, they should contact the Ministry of Health immediately before anything happens on Saturday.  

Gonsalves is urging citizens to stock up on water, food, medicine and emergency supplies.  

He says: “If your house is not safe make arrangements to stay with friends and family.  

If not, move to an emergency shelter, do not wait for strong rain and winds. Do not go out during the passage of the storm.  

Stay indoors until the all clear has been given by NEMO.”  

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