Prepare and Prevent – DMCA’s Weekly Radio Programme

Today’s programme features an interview with Director of the Montserrat Disaster Managment Coordination Agency (DMCA) Billy Darroux.

In this edition, he explains some of the common terms or phrases used during the annual Hurricane season and also highlights the importance of being prepared in the event of a storm or a hurricane.

Click the orange play button below to hear the full programme…

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Residents cautioned against crossing Belham Valley

The Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) is warning residents not to attempt crossing the Belham Valley.

Director of the DMCA Billy Darroux said overnight rains from a tropical wave with an associated broad area of low pressure generated a large mudflow in the valley.

Mr Darroux added as result there was significant erosion to the paths used to access Isle Bay Hill and Cork Hill from the Old Gulf Course and the road from Happy Hill and Dr Woods to travel to Corkhill.

He also confirmed that sharp drop-offs of the eroded area in the valley posed a serious danger to persons walking or standing close to the edge of the valley.

The DMCA is also discouraging persons from sightseeing in the Belham Valley and not to drive down the Happy Hill road which is severely damaged.

According to Mr Darroux, there’s still potential for rain which can further impact the Belham Valley resulting in lahars with little or no warning, making the area more dangerous.

John A Osborne Airport confirmed that 49.1 milimetres of rain fell from 2 pm August 23rd, 2016 to 8 am August 24, 2016.

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A TROPICAL DISTURBANCE MOVING THROUGH THE LESSER ANTILLES MAY BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR STORM

Satellite images, surface observations, and radar data indicate that a broad area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave is located over the northern Leeward Islands.

Showers and thunderstorms have become more concentrated overnight and are showing signs of organization, but the system still appears to lack a well-defined circulation.

Although environmental conditions are currently only marginally conducive for additional development, this system could become a tropical depression at any time during the next few days while it moves west-northwestward at about 15 mph across the northern Leeward Islands, near or over Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and the Bahamas.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance late this morning. Gusty winds, heavy rains, and possible flash floods and mudslides are expected to occur over portions of the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and the southeastern and Central Bahamas.

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8 AM ADVISORIES FOR TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIONA AND TROPICAL STORM GASTON

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical Depression Fiona, located several hundred miles north of the Leeward Islands, and on Tropical Storm Gaston, located about 450 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands.

A large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms located a few hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands is associated with a tropical wave.

Environmental conditions are somewhat conducive for development of this system during the next couple of days while it moves west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph near the northern Leeward Island and the Greater Antilles. Large-scale conditions could become more conducive later this week while the system moves near Hispaniola and then the Southeastern and Central Bahamas.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate this disturbance later this morning. Interests from the islands of the northeastern Caribbean Sea to the Bahamas should monitor the progress of this system. Gusty winds, heavy rains, and possible flash floods and mud slides could occur over these areas regardless of tropical cyclone formation.

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ONE OF TWO TROPICAL DISTURBANCES IS LIKELY TO DEVELOP INTO A TROPICAL STORM AS EARLY AS MONDAY

Two tropical disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean may become a tropical depression or storm.

One system poses a Caribbean heavy rain threat no matter whether it develops or not.

Two disturbances in the central and Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Invest 99-L and Invest 90-L, are being monitored for potential development into the next tropical depression or tropical storm over the next few days.

“Invest 99-L” is currently a tropical wave — an area of low pressure without a closed, counterclockwise surface circulation — located about 900 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

The National Hurricane Center says this system has a medium chance of development into a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next five days.

For now, a tight consensus of our guidance suggests the disturbance should continue in a general west or west-northwest trajectory the next several days. It should reach the Lesser Antilles by late Tuesday or early Wednesday and then spread through the northeast Caribbean Islands into Thursday.

“Invest 90-L” may have some dry air to fend off the next day or so, due to another Saharan Air layer.

However, the majority of the National Hurricane Center forecast guidance is suggesting 90-L is likely to develop into a tropical storm, perhaps as early as Monday.

In general, the atmospheric steering pattern in the Atlantic Ocean late this week suggests 90-L would eventually get drawn northwest into the central Atlantic Ocean, roughly analogous to Fiona, potentially becoming a hurricane.

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Prepare and Prevent – DMCA’s Weekly Radio Programme

Today’s programme features an interview with Operations and Logistics Officer Kelvin White at the Disaster Managment Coordination Agency (DMCA)

In this edition, Mr White speaks about the role of the District Disaster Chairpersons in a disaster or an emergency situation on Montserrat and moving to a hurricane or emergency shelter during or after hazardous events.

Click the orange play button below to hear the full programme…

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Tropical Storm Fiona formed Wednesday evening in the central Atlantic Ocean but, poses no threat to the Lesser Antilles at this time

Forecasters say Fiona faces two main obstacles that could spell its eventual demise and the tropical storm is no threat to land.

Tropical Storm Fiona, the sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, is a bit more organized today but, faces a more hostile atmosphere in the days ahead in the central Atlantic Ocean.

As of Thursday morning, Fiona’s convective presentation on infrared satellite imagery looked the part of a tropical storm, with a central area of thunderstorms and some banding evident especially north of the center, which was about halfway between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of western Africa.

Although some short-term strengthening is expected, it faces a familiar pair of nemeses headed into the weekend.

First, Fiona is expected to face increased wind shear, namely, differing winds aloft compared to near the surface. Wind shear tends to displace a tropical cyclone’s convection from its center of circulation and can also tilt that circulation. While some intense hurricanes can fend off some light to moderate wind shear, weaker systems can be ripped apart if the shear is too strong.

The increased southwest winds aloft responsible for the anticipated wind shear, along with a fairly weak Bermuda-Azores high will also cause Fiona to gain too much latitude to ever be a threat to the Lesser Antilles.

Dry air in the central Atlantic is also expected to wrap into Fiona’s circulation, encouraging stronger thunderstorm downdrafts and dispersing the convection from the system’s center.

Therefore, it is possible Fiona, weakened by wind shear and dry air, could degenerate into a remnant low or tropical wave. Continue reading

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DMCA MONITORS TROPICAL DEPRESSION SIX FORMED LATE TUESDAY IN THE CENTRAL ATLANTIC OCEAN

The depression is forecast to strengthen into Tropical Storm Fiona on Wednesday, but is no threat to land.

Tropical Depression Six is about 775 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. It is moving northwest around 15 mph.

Although some strengthening is expected, it faces a familiar pair of nemeses later in the week.

The uncertainty in the forecast lies in the potential for it to be either:

1) Weakened quickly by wind shear and dry air, degenerating into a remnant low or tropical wave and thus moving farther south (but still generally north of the Antilles)

2) Somehow holding together as a tropical cyclone and, thus, curling faster to the north into the central Atlantic Ocean.

Regardless of the scenario, this system is not a major threat to the Lesser Antilles at this time. If scenario 1 verifies, and the system degrades to a tropical wave, there could be a few more showers in the Leeward Islands early next week on the southern end of that tropical wave.  Continue reading

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DMCA TO COLLABORATE WITH RFA WAVE KNIGHT TO FACILITATE DISASTER READINESS TRAINING

Courtesy The Montserrat Reporter

The Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) will be facilitating a number of emergency preparedness and response exercises with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel “WAVE KNIGHT” this month.

The vessel will visit Montserrat on Monday August 22, 2016 for a four-day visit during her deployment to the region as Atlantic Patrol Task North (APT(N)).

DMCA’s Logistic Officer Kelvin White said the disaster training exercises include both a desktop and live exercise with key agencies on Montserrat and RFA crew members on August 23th and 24th, 2016.

He added that the DMCA in collaboration with the vessel’s team will conduct CPR (lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped) training with members of the local Disaster District Committees.

Mr White said these exercises will test the island’s readiness to respond to a tropical event and also gives the DMCA the opportunity to test the ship’s capability to work with local responding agencies whilst utilising both the ship and shoreside assets.

According to a Government House press release, this is a year-round commitment to the region and, in particular, to the Overseas Territories, in support of humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR) and counter-narcotics operations. Continue reading

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DMCA CONDUCTS TRAINING EXERCISE ON PLOTTING HURRICANE TRACK

A training exercise was held on Friday August 5, 2016 with staff at the Montserrat Disaster Management Coordination Agency(DMCA) on “tracking and plotting the coordinates of the current position of tropical storms and hurricanes”.

The activity held at the DMCA compound was facilitated by Operations and Logistics Officer Kelvin White.

Mr White said the purpose of the training was to get staff members to locate coordinates on a map and learn to plot the path of a storm.

He said the activity was quite timely as Montserrat is now into the peak 2016 Atlantic hurricane season and also relevant for staff members of the coordinating agency.

He added that the training exercise will be extended to the various departments within Government and auxiliary staff at the DMCA.

According to Mr White, staff members are now in a better position to use this skill to assist in other areas such as a providing support for a maritime incident.

Some of the areas covered include identifying the coordinates of a point on the map and plotting a point on the map when given the coordinates as well as identify various weather systems namely tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane using the standard symbols. Continue reading

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