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ROSEAU – A State of Emergency has been declared in Dominica as the island braces for the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac on Thursday.
On Wednesday, National Security Minister Rayburn Blackmoore announced that a state of emergency would be declared from midnight Wednesday to noon on Friday.
This is in addition to an islandwide curfew.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Blackmoore said the Dominica Police Force advised President Charles Savarin that the state of emergency should be declared and this was necessary to “save life and property and protect people from themselves”.
Superintendent Richmond Valentine added that police officers will be deployed island wide with a number of check point at various locations.
“Stay at your home with your family, in my mind there is no safer place for you to be,” he said, “From midnight tonight we should have no one on the streets walking or driving unless you have a valid curfew pass.”
He added that curfew passes will enable holders to leave their homes to attend work and back.
Valentine also asked the public to continue to work with the police just as they did for Tropical Storm Beryl.
In the latest update on Thursday, the Miami based National Hurricane Centre said that Tropical Storm Isaac is moving toward the west near 17 mph and this general motion is forecast to continue for the next several days.
On the forecast track, Isaac is expected to move across the central Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday afternoon and then move across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea through the weekend.
The Hurricane Centre said that data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts and little change in strength is expected over the next several hours as the storm Isaac moves through the Leeward Islands.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit urged citizens to be “fully prepared” and to take warnings seriously.
Dominica is currently under a Tropical Storm warning. This is in addition to Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Meanwhile, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St Eustatius and St Maarten. (CMC)