Hurricane Dean shift a blessing for SVG
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August 17, 2007

Hurricane Dean shift a blessing for SVG


This country has been spared yet again from the full fury of a hurricane, and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is relieved.{{more}}

“I am relieved for the moment, because as it looks now it is heading north west of us,” Dr Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, Thursday.

Dr Gonsalves, who is also the chairman of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), said that Vincentians should be thankful but not complacent.

He called on Vincentians to continue to be vigilant even though it seems that the worse may be avoided. He said that with St Vincent and the Grenadines’ topography, heavy rainfall could lead to landslides and still cause a lot of damage.

At 8 a.m. yesterday, Hurricane Dean was located near latitude 13.5 north, longitude 53.3 west or about 480 east of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Dr Gonsalves said that while he is relieved, he is very concerned for the other Caribbean territories that may get the full fury of Dean.

Meanwhile, NEMO’s director Howie Prince said that as far as he could tell and from what was reported to him by agents on the ground, people seem to be taking the threat of Dean seriously.

A release from NEMO yesterday said that a “roll call” of all of this country’s response agencies was done at a meeting held on Wednesday, August 15th. Response agencies were quizzed on their levels of readiness to respond to the impact of a hurricane.

A small core group, including the MET office, the Director of NEMO, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security and the Cabinet Secretary was set up to monitor the storm during the course of yesterday (Thursday 16th). This core group is to advise the Prime Minister on actions that should be taken to save lives and protect property.

An announcement was also issued yesterday by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard to ship and boat owners.

Owners of small boats are advised to put their boats well clear of the water, and those which cannot be brought clear of the water should be moved to a sheltered position and anchored or moored securely.

Ships are advised to complete discharging cargo as soon as possible and to make for a sheltered area, well clear of the hurricane track.