TROPICAL STORM BERYL NOW A HURRICANE 

Current Location: 10.6N, 45.1W
Geographic Reference: 1140 miles ESE of the Lesser Antilles
Movement: West at 14 mph
Maximum Winds: 75 mph gusting to 90 mph
Hurricane Force winds: 10 miles from the centre
Tropical Storm winds: 35 miles from the centre

Beryl, a Category 1 hurricane is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm on Saturday and then continue to weaken into early next week. Increased winds and rainfall are likely to accompany Beryl as it passes through the Lesser Antilles.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to expedite preparations as we are moving further into 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The DMCA will continue to provide updates as the system progresses.

Please continue to monitor ZJB Radio, DMCA’s website at www.dmca.gov.ms and Facebook at Montserrat Disaster Management Coordination Agency-DMCA for regular updates. Continue reading

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TODAY’S LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST FOR MONTSERRAT VALID UP TO 8 AM SATURDAY JULY 7TH, 2018

SYNOPSIS: The northern end of a weak tropical wave interacting with an upper level low will maintain a moderate chance of showers across the islands today. Later tonight, an airmass with less moisture sitting over the area will keep the chance of showers low. Also, a fairly steep pressure gradient will continue to drive moderate to fresh winds across the islands.

WEATHER TODAY: Partly cloudy to cloudy with a 40 percent or moderate chance of showers.

WEATHER TONIGHT: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent or low chance of showers.

WINDS: Easterly at 22 to 33 km/h or 12 to 18 knots..

SEAS: Moderate, significant wave heights 1.5 to 1.8 metres or 5 to 6 feet. Small craft operators should continue to exercise caution especially in the waters on the Atlantic side of the islands..

SUNSET TODAY: 6:47 pm SUNRISE TOMORROW: 5:42 am

Please continue to monitor ZJB Radio, DMCA’s website at www.dmca.gov.ms and Facebook at Montserrat Disaster Management Coordination Agency-DMCA for regular updates. Continue reading

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NEW HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS PLANS FOR BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES IN THE CARIBBEAN INCLUDING MONTSERRAT

The British Government has announced new measures to make sure British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean including Montserrat have the support they need in the event of a repeat of the devastating hurricanes which hit the region last year.

In a press release issued on Wednesday July 4th, 2018, it states that Government departments have been putting plans in place to bring together humanitarian, military support and diplomatic work under a joint unit coordinated by the Foreign Office.

These include:

Royal Fleet Auxilliary (RFA) Mounts Bay, a Navy ship deployed to the region since 2017, will remain in the vicinity of the Caribbean throughout the hurricane season this year and also for 2019.

Experts have been deployed to the region to lead negotiations on a number of commercial contracts, in advance of peak hurricane season, to deliver essential recovery needs.

Military reconnaissance and analysis in the Overseas Territories, building links and familiarity with local and regional disaster management personnel, and conducting professional analysis of selected critical infrastructure.

Plans for a multi-national coordination cell in the Caribbean to coordinate partner countries and organisations to make sure efforts aren’t being duplicated across the region and to make immediate responses more efficient. The UK has coordinated meetings between representatives from the USA, Canada and the Netherlands and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to ensure a joined up approach to hurricane preparedness.

Emergency humanitarian supplies in the form of over 1000 collapsible jerry cans, 1000 hygiene kits and up to 1000 shelter kits have been pre-loaded onto RFA Mounts Bay, which will remain in the region for the hurricane season and be on hand to provide life-saving emergency assistance as required.

DFID has also fielded a preparedness mission to the region from 5 to 17 June to coordinate UK preparations with both national and regional institutions.

DFID has well established programmes in the poorer Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean and, in addition to humanitarian assistance, is supporting reconstruction efforts in the hurricane-affected islands of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda.

The UK has also helped ensure all islands affected by the hurricanes last year are now insured under the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Fund (CCRIF). DFID helped establish the CCRIF which provided over $50 million of quick payouts to hurricane affected Caribbean countries and territories in 2017. This year, the UK has supported BVI and Montserrat to join as new members. This means that all of the islands affected last year are now covered.
Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

Last year’s hurricanes hit Caribbean British Overseas Territories and the wider region with devastating effect, uprooting lives and damaging local economies. The UK has provided critical support and help with recovery efforts and I have seen for myself the huge impact that this has had already. The UK continues to work closely with the governments of the Overseas Territories in their recovery efforts and in helping to rebuild their economies.

Moreover, we have also been working hard with key partners across the region to ensure an even more effective and strategic response in the event we see a repeat of last year’s hurricane season.

International Development Minister, Lord Bates said:

The scale of last year’s hurricanes was unprecedented and the UK aid mission was huge, covering small islands stretching more than 1,000 miles apart, where buildings and roads had been destroyed.

Britain continues to stand by those people whose lives were devastated. Not only have we been working with the islands’ governments to make sure they are more resilient to natural disasters but we are also well prepared to respond and provide humanitarian relief if a hurricane hits again.

Minister for Armed Forces Mark Lancaster said:

Our Armed Forces are committed to supporting our Overseas Territories, and we have worked alongside our colleagues across Government to ensure we are fully prepared in the event of a natural disaster or other crisis. RFA Mounts Bay, which played a vital role during the 2017 hurricane crisis, remains ready in the Caribbean and will be supported by specialist forces from the UK if required.

£72 million was immediately committed in September to help the Overseas Territories Anguilla, BVI and the Turks and Caicos Islands. In November, the Prime Minister committed a further £70 million for reconstruction efforts and £300 million of UK loan guarantees.

Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon visited Anguilla, the Cayman Islands and Montserrat as part of a regional tour to discuss hurricane preparedness in May and will visit the region again later this month.

Hurricane preparedness was one of the key topics of discussion at the Joint Ministerial Council with the Overseas Territories in June.

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DMCA HOLDS TABLETOP HURRICANE EXERCISE

A tabletop exercise was held here on Monday, July 2nd, 2018 at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) to test Montserrat’s readiness to respond to a tropical storm or hurricane impacting the island.

The exercise, held as part of the DMCA’s 2018 National Hurricane Conference, brought together key personnel from the public sector, statutory organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to assess their individual plans to respond to a tropical cyclone event.

The exercise led participants through a simulated hurricane scenario and prompted them to examine their plan of action and procedures at various phases of the event and how it ties into the Montserrat National Hurricane Plan.

The goals of the exercise were to critically assess the response capability and coordination of the various organizations and agencies involved using their internal plans and resources; and to help them identify improvements that could make the difference in saving lives and to ensure business continuity at the private, public and national levels.
Coming out of this year’s 2018 National Hurricane conference, some weaknesses and strengths were identified; however, some priority actions were highlighted that should be addressed immediately to ensure Montserrat is in a maximum state of readiness.

There were brief remarks by His Excellency, Governor Andrew Pearce and both the Interim-Director and Operations and Logistics Officer at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) Major Alvin Ryan and Kelvin White respectively.
Information and Outreach Officer at the DMCA Shirlian Queeley gave a presentation on the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast.

The conference was attended by the Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo, Government Ministers and senior officials from the Montserrat Customs and Revenue Services (MCRS), the Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS), Her Majesty’s Prison, Montserrat Port Authority, Ministry of Communication, Works and Labour (MCWL), Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Housing, Lands and Environment (MATHLE), the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MoFEM), Montserrat Utilities Limited (MUL), the Department of Information Technology and E-Government Services (DITES), the Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF) and the Montserrat Branch of the British Red Cross.

The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is forecast to be a near – or above-normal above season, with forecasts pointing to around 10-16 named storms and at least 5-9 hurricanes.

DMCA is reminding residents and visitors that it only takes one storm to wreak havoc and urges everyone to “Plan and Take Action, Always Prepare for the Unexpected.”

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TROPICAL DEPRESSION NUMBER 2 ALERT STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES 11:00 AM ECT THURSDAY, JULY 5TH, 2018

THIS IS FOR THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AND BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

…TROPICAL DEPRESSION NUMBER 2 HAS ENTERED THE MONITORED AREA…

AT …11AM/ ECT OR 1500Z TROPICAL DEPRESSION NUMBER 2 WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 10.2 NORTH, LONGITUDE 41.4 WEST OR ABOUT 1440 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS OR ABOUT 1635 MILES EAST- SOUTHEAST OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS.

THIS DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARDS THE WEST AT NEAR 16 MPH (26 KM/H). A FAST WESTWARD TO WEST- NORTHWESTWARD MOTION IS EXPECTED THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH (55 KM/H) WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE LATER TODAY OR ON FRIDAY.

BASED ON THE LATEST INFORMATION, THE DEPRESSION COULD DEGENERATE INTO A TROUGH OR LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM BEFORE IT REACHES THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN. HOWEVER, IF THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN, WATCHES AND WARNINGS WILL BE REQUIRED WITHIN THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

RESIDENTS ARE ASKED TO MONITOR THIS SYSTEM CLOSELY, AS QUICK ACTION MAY BE REQUIRED TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.

THE NEXT BULLETIN WILL BE ISSUED AT AROUND 5:30 PM. Continue reading

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DISTURBANCE 1 UPDATE #2…SYSTEM SHOWING SIGNS OF DEVELOPMENT; LIKELY TO COME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION IN 24 HOURS AND THREATEN MONTSERRAT

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Satellite images indicate that the shower activity associated with a small area of low pressure and a tropical wave located between the Cabo Verde Islands and the Lesser Antilles remains well organized, and a tropical depression could form at any time.

This disturbance is forecast to move westward or west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. However, in a few days, upper-level winds are forecast to become unfavorable, and the system is expected to degenerate into a trough of low pressure before it
reaches the Lesser Antilles.

* Formation chance through 48 hours…high…70 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…high…70 percent.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to monitor the disturbance for any changes. The DMCA will continue to provide updates as the system progresses.

Please continue to monitor ZJB Radio, DMCA’s website at www.dmca.gov.ms and Facebook at Montserrat Disaster Management Coordination Agency-DMCA for regular updates.

SOURCE: National Hurricane Center

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TODAY’S LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST FOR MONTSERRAT VALID UP TO 8 AM THURSDAY JULY 5TH, 2018

SYNOPSIS: High pressure ridge will continue to cause minimal shower activity over the Leewards and BVI as well as to maintain a moderate to fresh breeze over these islands today and tonight

WEATHER TODAY: Partly sunny, breezy and slightly hazy with a 20 percent or slight chance of a brief morning shower

WEATHER TONIGHT: Partly cloudy and slightly hazy with a 20 percent or slight chance of a brief pre-dawn shower

WINDS: Easterly at 19 to 33km/h or 10 to18 knots with higher amounts mainly over elevated terrain.

SEAS: Moderate with significant wave heights between 1.5 to 1.8meters or 5 to 6 feet. Small craft operators should be cautious against choppy seas.

SUNSET TODAY: 6:46 pm. SUNRISE TOMORROW:5:42 am.

Please continue to monitor ZJB Radio, DMCA’s website at www.dmca.gov.ms and Facebook at Montserrat Disaster Management Coordination Agency-DMCA for regular updates. Continue reading

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TODAY’S LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST FOR MONTSERRAT VALID UP TO 8 AM WEDNESDAY JULY 4TH, 2018

SYNOPSIS: Stable conditions will prevail across the islands for the next 24 hrs. Despite the presence of an approaching tropical wave, low moisture levels will inhibit significant weather activity.

WEATHER TODAY: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent or slight chance of showers.

WEATHER TONIGHT: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent or low chance showers.

WINDS: East at 20 to 33 km/h or 11 to 18 knots.

SEAS: Moderate with significant wave heights of 0.9 to 1.5 metres or 3 to 5 feet.

SUNSET TODAY: 6:46 pm SUNRISE TOMORROW: 5:41 am

Please continue to monitor ZJB Radio, DMCA’s website at www.dmca.gov.ms and Facebook at Montserrat Disaster Management Coordination Agency-DMCA for regular updates. Continue reading

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MONTSERRAT VOLCANO OBSERVATORY (MVO) WEEKLY REPORT FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 22ND TO JUNE 29TH, 2018

Activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano remains low.

The seismic network recorded one volcano-tectonic earthquake this week.

There have been no measurements of the SO2 flux to report since 30 May.

Pyroclastic flows can occur at any time without warning on any side of the volcano, including Gages from where they can travel rapidly into Plymouth. Tracks across the Belham Valley can be destroyed or heavily modified by flash flooding or lahars, and caution should be exercised crossing the valley during and after rainfall.

The Hazard Level is 1. There is no public access to Zone V, including Plymouth. Maritime Zones E and W are daytime transit only between sunrise and sunset (boats may sail through the zone but must not stop). Anyone who ignores these restrictions is liable to be prosecuted. Continue reading

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TODAY’S LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST FOR MONTSERRAT VALID UP TO 8 AM TUESDAY JULY 3RD, 2018

SYNOPSIS: Relative dry and dusty air from the Sahara Desert will inhibit shower activity; hence, dry weather will prevail.

WEATHER TODAY: Partly sunny and hazy with a 10 percent or a slight chance of showers.

WEATHER TONIGHT: Partly cloudy and hazy with a 10 percent or a slight chance of showers.

WINDS: East at 19 to 33 km/h or 12 to 18 knots with strong gusts at times reaching near 46 km/h or 25 knots, mainly tonight.

SEAS: Moderate with significant wave heights of 1 to 1.5 metres or 3 to 5 feet.

SUNSET TODAY: 6:46 pm. SUNRISE TOMORROW: 5:41 am. Continue reading

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