St Lucia remains on alert
CASTRIES – The National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) Monday urged St Lucians to remain on the alert as the island continues to take a battering from heavy unseasonal rains over the past few days.
NEMO director Dawn French told local radio that several persons were forced to seek shelter as more flooding was occurring in several communities across the island.
Weather officials forecast that the rains would continue at least until Thursday amid fears of more landslides and swollen rivers that have already caused extensive damage.
“In the west coast town of Soufriere which last October received a battering from Hurricane Tomas, several houses were once again under water, forcing residents to seek shelter and many of whom again lost all of their house hold items.
“Even patients at the Soufriere Hospital had to be evacuated and moved elsewhere as the incessant rain again flooded the town and left several roads in disrepair,” French said.
She said that NEMO would remain on alert and that residents should take all precautions to protect life and property.
“Rains and floods have no season, fire, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are not seasonal, they can happen at any time, we have also indicated that we have had in the recent past hurricanes seasons starting before June and can go into November and January.
“Is the Hurricane season going to start in May this year, we don’t know, there was a report last month of a system off Puerto Rico. Some people point to climate change and climate variability but we just need to remain vigilant as we are currently witnessing the consequences of what happens when the rain falls,” French said.
The month of April was the wettest on record for St Lucia since 1973, and weather officials the current weather pattern would continue for the next three months.
“While we are expected to get a break from the continuous rain by Thursday this week in time for the main stage performances of St Lucia Jazz this weekend, we need to caution St Lucians especially those living in low lying areas that the rains are forecast to be with us for the next three months,” the Director of Meteorological Services Thomas Auguste said. (CMC)