Residents of The Virgin Islands, after
consultation with the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) I hereby
advise that Government offices will not open on Thursday, 27th August. The NEOC’s advice is based on an analysis of
the various forecasting models. If Tropical Storm Erika maintains its current
strength and track, it is expected to affect the BVI from Thursday morning.
As there continues to be some level of
uncertainty with the strength of the system, and in the interest of public
safety, let us err on the side of caution. Neighbouring islands which also face
the threat of Erika have taken a similar decision to safeguard life and property.
I believe that the private sector will also
take the necessary actions to protect staff.
I trust that residents have already heeded
the call to engage in the necessary preparedness actions and are using the
remaining hours to secure any loose items that may be around their property.
I encourage those of you who are caring
for the elderly and young children to take some time to talk with them about
what is happening with the system, and try to put them at ease.
Personal safety is of paramount importance;
so I take this opportunity to remind non-essential personnel to remain off the
streets during the passage of the system and immediately after, to allow the
emergency services to carry out the necessary response and rehabilitation activities.
We will continue to
monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Erika. If there are any significant
changes in the forecasts overnight, I will issue a further statement early on Thursday
morning to allow sufficient time for any decisions which might have to be made.
Let us bunker down then, and
ride out this system together, and let us also pray that the system will pass
us with little or no effect and that we will be in a position to resume operations
God bless us all and thank