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Trinidad bracing for Bret


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Trinidad bracing for Bret

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PORT OF SPAIN – With the threat of Tropical Storm Bret – the second named storm for the hurricane season – becoming more of a reality yesterday afternoon, several service providers and stakeholders took precautionary measures to protect customers, employees and pupils.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia told the Express yesterday that for safety reasons all schools in Trinidad as well as in Tobago would remain closed.

He said this was based on the advice he received from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM).

“I have also been in contact with the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly and he has informed me that they have also taken the decision to close all schools (today),” Garcia said.

“And this is to ensure that the safety of our students, our teachers and all those who operate within our schools is maintained. So because of safety issues we are closing all schools in Trinidad and in Tobago,” he added.

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The ODPM yesterday named 150 primary and secondary schools among the list of emergency shelters.

Just before 6 p.m., the Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT) announced that all commercials banks will be closed today.

The Association said normal operating hours will resume tomorrow.

“BATT apologises for any inconvenience caused, as we protect the safety of our customers and staff, which are a priority at this time,” BATT said in a statement.

At 12.39 p.m. yesterday, the Trinidad and Tobago Inter-Island Transportation Company announced the cancellation of the 6.30 a.m. sailing from Scarborough to Port of Spain today.

“The weather conditions are being monitored and the public will be advised of the new sailing times,” said Vilma Lewis-Cockburn, the company’s manager, marketing and public relations.

Some supermarkets remained open as late as 6.30 p.m., accommodating hundreds of shoppers rushing at the last minute to purchase emergency food supplies.

“Like this thing is for real this time,” one consumer at FHS United Supermarket on Independence Square, Port of Spain, was heard telling other customers.

President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association Gregory Aboud said based on the advice the Association receives from the ODPM this morning, it will determine if businesses in the capital city will be opened.

Drivers also lined up at gas stations across the country, stocking up on fuel in anticipation of Tropical Storm Bret. (Express)

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