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UPDATE: Gov’t outlines help to leave Anegada

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Moments after Governor Augustus Jaspert told residents of Anegada to consider leaving the island which is seriously being threatened by Hurricane Irma, the government announced several arrangements to assist persons who are willing to relocate.

Claudia Creque Educational Centre will be opened for those who wish to remain on the island, the government said. It added that the centre will be managed by the Anegada Community Emergency Response Team headed by Melanie Faulkner-Smith.

The administration further stated that arrangements are being made for Speedy’s and Road Town Fast ferries to transport persons relocating to the islands of Virgin Gorda and Tortola.

“These ferries will leave Anegada at 12 noon on Tuesday, 5 September,” the government said.

It added that residents, who don’t have family members on Tortola or Virgin Gorda, can be accommodated at emergency shelters there.

“On Virgin Gorda, the Catholic Community Centre in the Valley and the Methodist Church in North Sound will open to receive persons,” the government said.

“Persons wishing to stay on Tortola can be accommodated in St George’s Anglican Church Hall in Road Town, the New Testament Church of God in Baugher’s Bay, East End Community Centre, or West End Community Centre.”

Furthermore, the administration noted that persons who choose to seek temporary accommodation at emergency shelters on Tortola or Virgin Gorda must first inform District Officer Shirley Vanterpool so that arrangements can be made to accommodate them.

It also advised Anegada residents: “Please ensure that you have essential supplies – an emergency kit well stocked with water, batteries, battery-operated radio, flashlights, medications, and non-perishable food items – for at least three days.”

A few hours before Government disclosed those procedures, Governor Jaspert, who assumed office recently, told Anegada residents that the hurricane forecasts show that their island is highly vulnerable.

“Considering Anegada’s topography and vulnerability to storm surge and the predicted wave heights, we are concerned about the impacts that this system may have on this island, and we will initiate appropriate actions to support the residents,” the governor said.

“At this point, we advise residents of Anegada to consider leaving the island and to find safe shelter with family and friends.”

Meanwhile, the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Service this morning issued a hurricane watch for the British Virgin Islands. The watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.

According to the government, Hurricane Irma is predicted to impact the territory as a category 4 hurricane on Wednesday afternoon into the evening.

“The projected path places the eye very close to Anegada, and we are therefore concerned about the level of impact the system could have on the island and individuals there,” the government said.

“It is expected that storm surge from this event (hurricane) can range from 10 to 14 feet or higher. Given that Anegada is a low-lying island, it is therefore vulnerable to storm surge, which has the potential to cause significant damage along the coastline and properties within the affected area.”

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