MESSAGE BY PREMIER AND MINISTER FOR FINANCE HONOURABLE ANDREW A FAHIE ON THE PASSAGE OF TROPICAL STORM LAURA – BE SAFE
People of the Virgin Islands, good morning, and God’s blessings.
You would have seen the 11:00 a.m. update from the Department of Disaster Management, which stated that although showers and gusty winds continue around the Territory, the Tropical Storm Warning for the BVI has been lifted as Tropical Storm Laura moves away.
To this, I say, thanks be to GOD, Abba, Our Father. By the grace of our Heavenly Father, we have been spared from serious damages that could have resulted from the passage of Tropical Storm Laura.
Indeed, we have been blessed to hear no emergency calls and to see that our roads are clear today.
The National Hurricane Centre reports that at 11:00 am, the centre of Tropical Storm Laura was located near latitude 17.8 North, longitude 66.8 West, or about 20 miles southwest of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Laura is moving toward the west near 18 mph, and a generally west-northwestward motion is expected over the next few days.
I want to extend heartfelt thanks to those public officers and others who worked to ensure that all the preparedness measures we needed to carry out were done in an orderly fashion, and also to you the people for doing your part to prepare and be ready. Each of you played a role in getting us safely through Tropical Storm Laura.
As you will see, Tropical Storm Laura is bringing rain and wind even as the system moves away. Although we are no longer under Tropical Storm warning, we should use caution today as these conditions may continue.
Please be reminded that marine warnings for both small craft and sea bathers are in place. Small craft should stay in port and sea bathers should avoid waters at this time.
For all of us returning to our routine, please continue in the spirit of BVILOVE to be vigilant in the face of a global pandemic and the peak period of an active Atlantic Hurricane Season.
As I have shared before, this year it is especially important that we stay in preparedness mode. We must continue to monitor conditions and plan ahead.
I want to also encourage persons at home and abroad to download the DDM’s Alert app in the Apple App store or Google Play store to receive updates of any hazards affecting the Territory.
I want to take this opportunity to remind us that while we navigate an active Atlantic Hurricane Season, we are living in the realities of the ‘New Regular’ living and working with COVID-19. Currently, we have 12 active cases.
People of the Virgin Islands we must remain vigilant. We must keep our guards up. We must practice the wearing of masks, frequent hand washing and sanitising, and social distancing. We must obey the protocols that are in place to keep us all safe. Vigilance is very important as we stem this important tide together with God as our GPS.
If you or someone you know believe that you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, do not go to any health institution. Contact the medical hotline at 852-7650. This is important to ensure that you get the appropriate treatment and to protect those around you such as your family members and the medical personnel.
There is no need to be afraid to come forward. By coming forward you would be saving lives. But by trying to keep it a secret, the consequences could be fatal for you and for other persons. So, please, if you believe you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, please call the medical hotline at 852-7650.
We are not playing around with COVID-19, and COVID-19 is not playing around with us. Likewise, we are not playing around with storms and hurricanes for storms and hurricanes are not playing around with us.
So, together as a people, we will remain vigilant. We will keep our guards up.
Please join In “A Time of Prayers and Praise” on Sunday 23, August, on our radio stations from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. as you call in and pray for our BVI that God will keep us safe.
May God continue to bless and protect all of us—the people of the Virgin Islands and this Territory.
Let us Be Ready and Stay Ready!