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Friday 15 December 2017

Antigua and Barbuda PM says no way to Jose

Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Less than one week after hurricane Irma left a trail of destruction through Antigua and Barbuda, hurricane Jose is expected to follow the same path by Sunday, however Prime Minister Gaston Browne is optimistic that the emergency authorities have the situation under control.

Newsday spoke to Browne yesterday who said that despite widespread destruction from Irma, relief operations were proceeding at a satisfactory pace and believed that the government was prepared for a second hurricane.

"The relief effort is going very well we will have challenge in the actual rebuilding because preliminary reports of damage is in approximately USD $100B, that is going to be our challenge going forward."

Newsday also understands that a helicopter and complete flight crew were expected to arrive in Antigua from Trinidad at around 1 pm yesterday, however sources within the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), revealed that up until press time, issues of logistics and navigation were still being discussed among coordinators and crew members.

Asked what measures there were in place to minimise the impact of hurricane Jose, Browne said that Antiguans were advised to remain indoors and avoid venturing outside and said that authorities were on standby and were prepared to evacuate Barbuda if necessary.

Hurricane Jose was placed roughly 1300 km off the Eastern coast of Antigua and Barbuda yesterday and was expected to become a category five hurricane by this morning.


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