St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The hurricane season has officially begun.
Forecasters have predicted an above-normal period with 13 -19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes.
So far two tropical storms, Arthur which formed north of the Bahamas and Bertha which developed off the coast of South Carolina in May, have gotten the season off to an early start.
Presently Tropical Depression 3 is located about 125 miles west of Campeche Mexico and a slow and gradual strengthening is expected over the next few days.
Head of the National Emergency Management Agency, Abdias Samuel, during his speech to the nation to acknowledge the start of the Atlantic Hurricane season urged citizens to be prepared.
“Citizens and residents, given the above normal outlook for this hurricane season, it is vital that everyone in this federation of St Kitts and Nevis takes the precautionary measures and become prepared. As we enter the hurricane season the National Emergency Management NEMA, continues to strengthen its public education and awareness campaigns, mitigation, and preparedness measures. Let the 2017 experience of Irma and Maria and of course, 2019’s Dorian, an extremely powerful category 5 hurricane which devastated countries in the Caribbean region and also impacted the United States of America, should serve as a reminder of how dynamic the weather can be and that predictions can and will change, however, we must be ready.”
In the era of COVID-19, Samuel noted that health guidelines and hygiene protocols should also be considered.
“As we focus our attention on the preparedness measures for the upcoming hurricane season, it remains critically important that we also remember that we are still amidst the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. Social and physical distancing, hygiene protocols and health guidelines to keep you safe from COVID-19 must be taken into consideration and will impact your preparedness plans including what is in your go kit, evacuation routes, shelters, and more. To date, the NEMA District Volunteers have been making preparations including doing damage assessments and community walk-throughs. All members of the National Disaster Sub-Committees have been working on their respective plans and now are ready to implement them.”
A major hurricane is a term assigned to a storm with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph and higher.
**Tropical Depression 3 has since developed into Tropical Storm Cristobal.