While stating that the coordinates a few hours before midnight on Tuesday had been taking the centre of Hurricane Irma between the islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda, Governor Augustus Jaspert made an appeal for residents to stay indoors.
The appeal comes as a flash flood WATCH remained in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and was expected to be elevated to a flash flood WARNING.
“If you are not seeking emergency shelter, you should remain indoors. As we continue into the night, please monitor the progress of this hurricane,” the governor said. “Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate from tonight (Tuesday), and Irma will pass over the territory on Wednesday, September 6.”
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) stated that, at 11pm, the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 17.4 north, longitude 61.1 west.
“Irma has now taken a west-north-west track near 15 miles per hour (mph), and this motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will move the northern Virgin Islands throughout the day on Wednesday.”
“The BVI is located along latitude 18.25 degrees North, longitude 64.37 degrees West. The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) to Road Town, Tortola is located 10.4 miles away,” the DDM further explained.
It stated that, based on information it gathers from various professional sources, maximum sustained winds remain near 185mph, gusting to 205mph.
“Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 5 hurricane when it passes through the territory. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles,” added DDM.
Wait for ‘all clear’
Meanwhile, Governor Jaspert stated that, at some point during the hurricane’s passage, conditions may seem to calm down.
“Should this happen, you must remain indoors and await the ‘all clear’ as hurricane conditions can potentially increase suddenly. The most important thing is to protect your life,” he added.
The governor continued; “The ‘all clear’ will be issued by the National Emergency Operations Centre. Please stay inside and off the roads even after the all clear has been issued as emergency vehicles will need to have access to affected areas.”