Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt is urging the citizens of that country to take heed and take precautions with the passage of Tropical Storm Maria which was upgraded to a Category Five Hurricane last night.
Maria is expected to hit hardest the islands of Dominica, St Kitts/Nevis and Puerto Rico.
It was revealed that several Grenadian lawyers left Dominica on Sunday to head back home, hoping to avoid the wrath of Maria, after Irma left devastation, death and destruction as she wrought her havoc on the Leeward Islands.
According to meteorologist at the MSTT Jean-Marc Rampersad, he said the northern path Maria was taking was usually more intense and Antigua and Guadeloupe were expected to receive winds up to 130 miles per hour, or in excess. After recently receiving a battering from Hurricane Irma Rampersad said there was not much any of the islands could do.
“No matter what a category it is a hurricane is always devastasting and in terms of major hurricanes, there are so much prepartions that you can do to deminish the damage.
Skeritt urged Dominicans to take heed and not treat this hurricane lightly.
“This is not a time to be unreasonable. Because of our low terrain there are persons who would wait for something to happen in order to take action. I think people should clean up around their properties instead of stockpiling for weeks of food and other supplies.
“Our focus should be focussed on work in our rural communities.
Dot no misuse your phone and data use. All of this can wait until the systen has passed.
Think of any elderly or indigent person who you feel would be vulnerable under these conditions, and if possible take them to your home or a nearby shelter,” he urged.
Skerritt said the country’s ministry of health had fully activated its emergency system and health systems were in place.
“I am also advising all that we should treat with the approach of a hurricane seriously, take no chances. We have planned for this hurricane season, but do not let us take this hurricane for granted. There will be full security for citizens and we have prepared legal insurance whether we have to prepare a curfew for the entire or parts of the country, to avoid any lawless actions by those who would engage in such,” he said.
He added: “Residents who are in flood prone areas should relocate instead of trying get across the river when it’s breaking its bank.
St Lucia prime minister Allen M Chastanet said the island was not looking for much damage except for landslides and landslips. He said those in low lying areas would be moved as a precautionary measure.