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Sep 7, 2017

Devastation in wake of Cat 5 storm in northern Caribbean

Hurricane Irma continues forward as a category five storm and has left a path of destruction in its wake – almost completely destroying Barbuda, and causing massive damage in Saint Maarten, Saint Barthelemy, BVI and several other islands. It passed over Puerto Rico on Wednesday night and has caused massive flooding; over a million residents remain without power on that island. And while it has slammed several of the islands in the Caribbean, it is projected to beat down on a couple more islands as it makes its way over to the U.S.  At the moment, the storm is hitting islands of the Turks and Caicos, and is expected to shake up parts of Haiti, Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and perhaps even northern Cuba if it continues on the same trajectory.  The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has been monitoring and mobilizing to assist the region. Today, CDEMA gave a live press brief in Barbados – it aired online and they gave an update on the impact of the storm so far and plans to assist the islands to be affected over the next several days.

 

Ronald Jackson, Exec Director, CDEMA

Ronald Jackson

“We expect that there will be extensive flooding conditions in the Turks and Caicos Islands, potentially with the entire areas being covered making it difficult to differentiate the sea from the land masses in the low lying areas; and that is a possibility. And also with the rain fall, there could be further flooding in the areas in TCI. The emergency operation center has been relocated to a much more substantial facility – courtesy of Digicel. Digicel has provided access to their facilities to ensure that the emergency services can continue to function and operate and plan and prepare for the aftermath of the event. They have initiated their satellite communications, they have tested those with us to ensure that we can maintain communications with TCI after the blow with TCI. As you can imagine that is the major challenge after any storm – so we have managed to sort that out with TCI, that we feel that we will be able to re-establish communications with them once the the blow as passed.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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