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UPDATES: Tropical Storm Elsa press conference

UPDATES: Tropical Storm Elsa press conference
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley (GP)

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley and emergency officials address the nation in the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa.

Sabu Best, Director of Barbados Meteorology Service

  • There is a marine advisory in swells 4 to 5 m especially on eastern, south-eastern and 2-3m on the west coast.
  • Expect increase in wind speeds and rainfall from around 5 a.m. on Friday.
  • TS Elsa will be packing sustained winds around 60mph when she passes south of Barbados.

Minister of Information, Broadcasting & Public Affairs Wilfred Abrahams

  • We are in way better shape than last year or year before.
  • We are aware of fragility of some properties because of the weather event a few weeks ago.
  • Be honest. Seek shelter, if you are not sure about the safety your home.
  • Barbadians are asked to get off the road as early as possible beyond the nationally mandated closing times

Acting Chief Education Officer Joy Adamson

  • Category 1 shelters opened before the storm
  • Category 2 shelters opened after the storm
  • CSEC and CAPE exams will be postponed from tomorrow
  • Shelters will be open from 5:30 p.m. this evening

Attorney General Dale Marshall

  • Public transport may be operated at full capacity from now and until the closing times, subject to strict COVID-19 protocols.
  • Once “all-clear” is given, PSVs must return to 75 per cent capacity.

Mark Cummins, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Transport, Works & Water Resources

  • We have done all necessary things we need to do to ensure we are safe.
  • 2 worksites at Murphy’s Pasture and Greenidge Road being secured
  • Essential workers equipped, outfitted and ready

Keithroy Halliday, General Manager, Barbados Water Authority

  • All community tanks will be filled and locked off 6 hours before storm arrives and accessible after “all-clear” is given.
  • Water tankers will be filled and cease operations 4 hours before storm arrives and will be operated in select districts after “all-clear” is given.
  • Sewage outfall on the south coast has been secured. Stainless straps were put in place recently to make it secure. Crew is ready to move immediately after the storm to manage, if necessary.
  • Worksites and 40 facilities managed by BWA being secured
  • Generators in place to ensure 80 per cent of distribution system.

Kerry Hinds, Executive Director, Department of Emergency Management

  • 10 p.m. activation for national emergency control centre

Dr Kenneth George, Chief Medical Officer

  • People using the shelters are asked to come with their own masks and hand sanitiser, and social distancing will be enforced.
  • Paragon quarantine facility will be moved because it is too near to the coast.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

  • Information was shared to satisfy the public that the Government is putting things in place to save lives and minimise damage to property.
  • This storm is a threat to Barbados. We will hope and pray, but it does not remove from us to be ready.
  • Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Health working to ensure COVID-19 testing for travellers leaving the island on Saturday and beyond. Public Health Lab closing from 9 p.m.
  • I am formally appealing to Barbadians: If you are not sure about the safety of your homes, use emergency shelters.
  • A dim view will be taken of people who want to go joyriding during the storm and putting the lives of emergency personnel at risk to try to save them.