By Ernesto Cooke
The National Emergency Council (NEC) of NEMO met on Tuesday September 26th, 2016 and based on information received from the Local Meteorological Office, the National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) was activated on Tuesday September 27th, 2016 at 6:00 pm.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines was placed on a Tropical Storm Warning as of 11:00 am on Wednesday September 28th, 2016. At 11:00 am on Tuesday the center of Tropical storm Matthew was located near latitude 13.4 N 60.7 W or about 35 miles east northeast of St. Vincent. A full shut down of all activities- Public and Private was issued at 11:00 a.m.
As at 3:00 pm heavy rains were reported island wide.
At the time of the report, heavy rain and gusty winds was reported with the Vermont River being flooded in the area of the casino and also flooding in the Buccament Bay area.
As at 6:00 pm on Wednesday September 28th, 2016, two hundred and eighty eight (288 persons are in emergency shelters in 12 locations across the country.
There has been very little report of damage to the road network and infrastructure.
The SVG MET Office reported that moderate to heavy rainfall will continue into tomorrow.
The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines authorized:
• The closing of all schools on Tuesday September 27th, 2016 at 2:00 pm
• Schools across St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be closed for the rest of the week.
• The closing of all Businesses nationwide, Public and Private at 11:00 am on Wednesday September 28th, 2016 following the issuing of a Tropical Storm Warning for the island from the Met Office.
• All activities will remain in effect on Thursday 28th Septemeber, 2016
3.0 The Impact
Preliminary reports on the impacts of the Tropical Storm Matthew are as follows:
3.1 Persons Affected:
Provided with Shelter: 288
Number Destroyed: Nil
Number Damaged: 3
There are no report of damage to buildings or infrastructure expect for the road at Kamacabou, Diamonds village which was blocked. The Roads, Building and General Services Authority and the Ministry of Transport and Works will conduct assessments when the all clear is given.
Several rivers are rising and the Vermont River has already overflowed at the Casino. The Mespo and the Spring Village Rivers are also rising.
All District Hospitals are functioning and the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) remains the last referral point with patient capacities in each facility as follows:
• Georgetown Hospital – 4 adults, 1 baby
• Chateaubelair Hospital – no inpatients
• Union Island Hospital – no inpatients
• Levi Latham – no inpatients
• Bequia – 1 patient
• MCMH – 130 patients, including 6 in Accident and Emergency
• LPH – 32 were evacuated on the 27th September 2016 and remain at the Fair Hall Government School (Shelter)
• 44 male residents are still housed at the plant
• MHC – Census remains the same, adequately staffed for tonight into tomorrow.
Staffing – all facilities are adequately staffed for tonight into tomorrow
Emergency responses – one from Caratal – aged gentleman unable to walk and admitted for safe keeping at Georgetown Hospital.
Response and recovery teams remain on alert at MCMH.
The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) as a precautionary measure advised of the closed all its water systems from 11:30 pm on Tuesday September 26th, 2016. All systems were reactived early Wednesday Septemeber 28th, 2016. There is however one report of water outage in Park Hill.
3.6 Search and Rescue
The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force has been patrolling the respective districts and providing status reports to the Telecoms Unit every hour. They have assisted with the moving of persons to shelters across the country and the Search and Rescue team is on standby to respond if the need arises.
Personnels at Out stations are awaiating deployment should the need arise. They are closely monitoring the businesses in and around Kingstown.
3.7 PUBLIC INFORMATION AND EDUCATION
Press Releases and Public Service Announcements have been penned and distributed to all Media Houses and to the social media platforms of the NEMO, API and NBC Radio.
Prime Minister (AG), the Hon. Montgomery Daniel made two (2) national addresses on the National Braodcasting Corporation, and Star FM on Wednesday September 28th, 2016. These addresses were also distributed via email to all media houses.
All notifications and any other communication are prepared and disseminated as the need arise.
5.0 Brief Description of Actions Taken so far:
• The National Emergency Management Organisation continues to coordinate the response to this emergency.
• The National Emergency Operations Centre remains activated.
6.0 Immediate Needs
There are no immediate needs.
Source National Emergency Management organization