This system is expected to cause heavy rains, with accumulations of up to 15 centimeters, electrical storms and winds of up to 50 km / h
San Juan.- The Eastern caribbean entered into alert before the arrival of the potential cyclone number 9 of the current Atlantic hurricane season and reinforces its preparations for the effects of the system that could become a tropical storm.
Regional meteorological experts warned that, regardless of development, this system is expected to cause heavy rains, with accumulations of up to 15 centimeters, electrical storms and winds of up to 50 km / h along with rough sea conditions in parts of the Lesser Antilles during the Tuesday night until Friday.
Barbados Meteorological Services advised Barbadians to be in « alert maximum « since » depending on where the system consolidates its center, a warning may be issued for Barbados in the short term. «
« It is highly recommended that all Barbadians closely monitor the progress of this system and prepare for the likely anticipated impact of a tropical depression or tropical storm in the next 12 to 24 hours, » a statement from the services said.
Some Barbadians reacted to the warnings on Tuesday and, while guarding and complying with COVID-19 protocols, formed long lines to buy water and other emergency supplies at capital supermarkets.
Some level of preparation was also taking place in Dominica, which has recently become a regular stop for weather systems of various intensities.
Several disaster preparedness officials told Efe that they could not « afford » to take risks and were preparing to deal with the anticipated effects of severe floods, which is common given the island’s typography such as preparing shelters.
« We started cleaning the drains and draining the river levees at the beginning of the season, but when Gonzalo, the previous phenomenon, threatened, we extended our operations beyond vulnerable districts, and we continued this week before the expected impact of this new threat. « they indicated.
Saint Lucia, for its part, watches « cautiously » the storm and, as the Disaster Prevention Coordinator, Dorine Gustave explained to local media, any system that contains as much rain as this is « a major concern for dozens of people residing in the mountainous terrain and the various flood-prone areas. «
« We have already spent millions of dollars this year clearing rivers, especially along the flooded east coast. So I can say we are ready, » he said.
« But there is always much more to do to ensure hurricane shelters are adequate and fit to accommodate people especially with the new public distancing requirement. We no longer have the budget to handle all of this as this year the funds they had to be reassigned to deal with COVID-19 and its requirements to quarantine and isolate people, « Gustave explained.
In Antigua and Barbuda, a disaster preparedness council meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday.
There are currently no current alerts or warnings for the Eastern caribbeanHowever, on Tuesday some moderate to heavy rains and occasional gusty winds are being experienced on the Windward Islands and Barbados.
Marine conditions have begun to deteriorate in this region, and users of the sea and people living near the coast are advised to be vigilant.
Small boat operators have also been asked to secure ships on Tuesday and Wednesday and to remain in port.
The Disaster Prevention office in Saint Vincent and the Grenadillas warned local media on Tuesday that they were anticipating a flash flood of rivers, ravines and streams, and settlements and roads near or along its banks.
In turn, they warned of the flooding of low bridges, landslides, and rockfalls along with coastal flooding in low areas.
For his part, the commissioner of the Bureau for Emergency Management and Disaster Administration (NMEAD) of Puerto Rico, Nino Correa, recommended that citizens review their family plans and recalled that there is a warning for a tropical storm and stressed that this phenomenon is not at all It has to do with Hurricane Maria.
« We know that water is coming. We do not want a comparison of the situation with Maria, because it is not like that, » said Correa.
According to Correa, there are 324 shelters enabled on the island, although the concern is in the south where many schools are unusable due to damage they suffered in the earthquakes at the end of the year.
« There are already some schools, especially in the southern area, which, depending on the rains, will not be used as shelters. There are alternate things that we are going to be working on, including community centers, warehouses, hotels, motels, » said Correa .
On the other hand, long queues have been seen today on the large areas where the purchase of water is being limited and in some products such as toilet paper are scarce.
Manuel Reyes, executive vice president of the Chamber of Marketing, Industry and Food Distribution (MIDA), said there are « sufficient supplies. » while owners of various gas stations have expressed the same opinion.