With seismic activity becoming a regular occurrence in the neighbouring island of Puerto Rico and the approaching 2020 hurricane season, Governor Augustus Jaspert said residents should self-evacuate or adhere to evacuation orders even if there is an active curfew.
The governor gave that indication on Wednesday while addressing the possibility of tsunamis and other disasters affectin the British Virgin Islands.
“It is imperative that residents understand these [evacuation] orders are to protect lives and safeguard people and would take precedence over any existing curfew or stay-at-home advice. If you are ordered to evacuate, you should do so urgently and without worry that you may be leaving home in violation of curfew,” Governor Jaspert.
“Likewise, if you live along the coast and you observe any of the natural warning signs of an approaching tsunami such as a very long or strong earthquake, you should self-evacuate and get to the safe points, even if it happens to be during a curfew period,” he added.
Safety measures should still apply
Governor Jaspert, however, said social distancing measures should continue, even in an emergency.
“So please, if you do need to evacuate, ensure that you do so wearing your mask and once you arrive at your designated safe area, keep six feet away from those who aren’t part of your household,” he stated.
“The emergency communications network continues to be improved and indeed has been tested in a new way during this current outbreak, as you all would have seen the Health Emergency Operations Centre’s COVID-19 messages reaching you via various methods since the global pandemic began,” Jaspert added.
He further said the government continues to monitor regional and international conditions via the Department of Disaster Management and its regional counterparts such as the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, and the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30.
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