Trinidad and Tobago mopping up after passage of Tropical Storm Bret
PORT OF SPAIN – Trinidad and Tobago was mopping up Tuesday after being spared the full brunt of Tropical Storm Bret, the first named weather system of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season that made its way through the twin island republic late Monday night into Tuesday.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) said that there were no reports of injuries but that several properties, mainly in the eastern and northern section of Trinidad as well as in Tobago had been affected by the storm’s passage.
“We have no reports of injuries,” said the head of the ODPM, Captain Neville Wint, confirming that at least 27 patients at the St Ann’s Hospital on the outskirts of the capital had to be evacuated to another part of the building after the roof was blown away.
In many other instances, the ODPM reported that trees and roofs were blown away by the storm.
Commercial flights were expected to resume Tuesday after both the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and the ANR Robinson Airport in Tobago re-opened.
In Tobago, a family was rescued by disaster preparedness officials after a tree fell on their home.
Schools, banks, as well as some commercial businesses remained closed Tuesday prolonging the long weekend that had included a public holiday on Monday as Trinidad and Tobago observed Labour Day where trade union leaders called for the removal of at least five government ministers.
A number of supermarkets had reported brisk business on Monday as people stocked up on water, bread, candles and other necessities ahead of the storm that is now moving towards Venezuela.
The Met office is warning that floods and landslides are possible Tuesday following the heavy rains that accompanied Tropical Storm Bret.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its 8.00 am (local time) bulletin said that the storm was located near latitude 11.1 North, longitude 63.6 West.
“Bret is moving toward the west-northwest near 21 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through today. On the forecast track, the centre of the tropical storm will continue to move across the south-eastern Caribbean Sea today,” the NHC said.
It said that the maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts.
“Little change in strength is forecast today, and a weakening trend is expected to begin later today and Bret is forecast to become a tropical depression on Wednesday.”
A tropical storm warning has gone into effect for Venezuela from Pedernales to Cumana including Isla de Margarita, while a tropical storm watch is in effect for Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. (CMC)