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Tobago battens down

News day / The THA 2017/2018 budget, due to be delivered this morning, has been postponed to Thursday, said Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, speaking at a press conference at the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) headquarters at Bacolet yesterday.

Charles assured that Tobago was ready to deal with any eventualities as a result of the storm.

He said according to a Threat Analysis, the situation was not expected to exacerbate to an instant where Tobago would require assistance from Trinidad. The press conference was also attended by Acting Supervisor of the TT Meteorological Office, Gary Benjamin, THA Chief Administrator Ray Sandy and TEMA director Allan Stewart.

STORM MOVING QUICKLY Benjamin said the storm was moving fairly quickly towards the west at 25 miles per hour, which would take the centre along the east coast of Trinidad, which means Tobago would be north of the system.

“The strongest effects of this system should be between 9 pm (last night) and 3 am today and the duration of it should last until 8 am, but that is not to say we would not continue to see convective activity after this,” he said.

Sandy said the THA has considered the potential disruption from the cyclone and has decided all schools would be closed and all non-essential Tobago House of Assembly Offices would also remain closed out of an abundance of caution.

“We are trying to ensure that any damage on the island, that it will be minimize and we will be in a position to treat with the after of this tropical cyclone that is expected to visit us over the next 12 hours,” he said. Charles advised Tobagonians to take all precautions against the storm.

“We are not sure of the damage that may ensue and we are not sure as to the speed of recovery and therefore to facilitate speedy recovery and getting things back to normal, it is advised that we take these precautions.

TEMA IS READY “TEMA and the first responder agency are ready and we are making an appeal to residents to organise themselves in such a way that they are safe,” he said. Steward said Tobago will experience flash flooding, landslides and damage to unstable structures. “There are eight emergency operations centres stocked with emergency kits and these will aid in the immediate relief of those persons who will be sheltered during the passage of this system.

“The 211 call centre will be ready to provide you with the necessary emergency mode with transferring information to us.

We ask members of the public during this period to stay tuned to radio and televisions for updates,” he said.

Emergency centers are located at Delaford, Moriah, Charlottesville, Speyside, L’Anse Fourmi, Carnbee and Mt Pleasant. In addition, there are 72 primary, secondary and alternative shelters at community centres, schools and churches.

Up to yesterday afternoon Tobago had not experienced any landslides or flash flooding, and no heavy rainfall.

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