A high surf warning has been placed on the British Virgin Islands.
A weather bulletin from the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) on Monday, October 28 said an “enormous low-pressure area consisting of Hurricane Pablo and an extra-tropical cyclone” in the North Atlantic is pushing sea swells of moderate height towards the territory.
“The swells are expected to cause high surfs and powerful rip currents, which will be a severe threat to life and property. There is also the increased likelihood of damage due to flooding of some low-lying coastal areas. Swells will present an especially heightened threat to life and property in the surf zone,” the DDM stated.
It further said the locations expected to be affected includes reefs and “exposed northern and east-facing coastlines with relatively shallow gently-sloping nearshore areas”.
The DDM said surfs can climb more than 10 feet over the territory’s shorelines and that this can result in loss of life.
“[The high surf possesses] strong currents that can carry even the strongest swimmers out to sea, [and can cause] injuries to beachgoers, beach erosion, seawater splashing onto low lying coastal roads, beach closures, disruptions to marine recreation and businesses; financial losses; damage to coral reefs, saltwater intrusion and disruptions to potable water from desalination.”
The DDM is also urging beachgoers to refrain from swimming at local beaches until the warning has been lifted.
“No one should enter the water, especially on the northern and eastern sides of the islands. All are also urged to say away from rocky and or coastal structures along beaches,” the DDM said.
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