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Restaurants and Casinos can Open

MinAGZ_Prime_Minister_Marcel_GumbsPrime Minister Gumbs: Restaurants and Casinos can Open Thursday Evening. Schools, Businesses and Government to Reopen on Friday

PHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, chairman of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), in an update on Thursday afternoon, August 27, says, based on an assessment of the current weather situation regarding Tropical Storm Erika:

"Country Sint Maarten remains under a Tropical Storm Warning. The country will continue to experience some gusty to near gale force winds from time to time, and the community is advised to be cautious when outdoors. Erika could still produce some heavy rainfall tonight and motorists should exercise caution when driving. Residents in hillside areas should also exercise caution after heavy rainfall.

- Restaurants and casinos can reopen for business this evening, Thursday.

- Schools are to reopen on Friday, August 28.

- Friday, August 28 will also be a normal business day.

- Government offices are to reopen on Friday, August 28.

- Motorists should avoid driving in low lying areas as there is the potential for flooding in the event of heavy rainfall;

- Persons living in flood prone areas should remain vigilant in the event of heavy rainfall.

"I would like to thank the broadcast media for their cooperation in spreading the information to our community about the two storm systems that approached the Leeward Islands within the past week. I call on the populace to remain vigilant because the hurricane season is not yet over. We still have three more months to go through.

"I would like to thank the public, our visitors, and the business community for their understanding and cooperation. The measures that have been taken were of a precautionary nature in order to ensure the safety of the community and our visitors," Marcel Gumbs, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten stated on Thursday afternoon.

…TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR ST. MAARTEN...

eric_6pmDATE ISSUED: Thursday, August 27, 2015  TIME ISSUED: 05:00 PM
…ERIKA PRODUCING VERY HEAVY RAINS OVER PORTIONS OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS…
Location: Lat. 16.6N ....Lon. 64.0W
About: 100 miles S of St. Maarten
Maximum sustained winds: 45 mph ....75 km/h
Present Movement: WNW...285 degrees at 15 mph …26 km/h
Minimum Central Pressure: 1006 mb....29.71 inches

DISCUSSION AND 24-HOUR OUTLOOK
At 05:00pm…the center of Tropical Storm Erika was estimated near latitude 16.6 North longitude 64.0 West or
about 100 miles south of St. Maarten.
Erika is moving toward the west-northwest near 15mph (26 km/h). This general motion is expected to continue
for the next 48 hours..
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. No significant change in strength is
forecast during the next 48 hours.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km) from the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb (29.71 inches).
According to these coordinates, the center ofErika is currently south of St. Maarten.
The strongest gust recorded at the Princess Juliana International Airport thus far was 53mph.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND AND SEA

  WIND:
Tropical storm force winds are currently affecting the Northeastern Caribbean.

  RAINFALL:
Erika is expected to produce total rain accumulationsof 4 to 8 inches (102 to 203 mm) with maximum
amounts of 12 inches (305 mm) across portions of the Northeastern Caribbean through Saturday.
Severe flooding is possible across the local region today/tonight.

  STORM SURGE/WAVES:
Erika is producing waves up to 16 feet (5m) along the coasts of St. Maarten. Some coastal flooding and
beach erosion is possible as the storm continues on its WNW path.

ALL CITIZENS/ RESIDENTS SHOULD REMAIN VIGILANT AND CONTINUE TO LISTEN TO
UPDATES TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY AND BE READY TO TAKE THE NECESSARY
ACTION IF CALLED UPON.
RESIDENTS AND USERS OF FLOOD-PRONE AREAS SHOULD TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTION AND
PREPARE THEMSELVES TO EVACUATE, IF NECESSARY.
The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten will continue to monitor Tropical Storm Erika and issue
Special Weather Bulletins.

Strengthening of law enforcement

Statement St. Maarten and the Netherlands as released following talks in The Hague on Wednesday evening:

"St. Maarten and the Netherlands jointly tackle the strengthening of law enforcement in St. Maarten. St. Maarten Minister of Justice Richardson and his Dutch colleagues Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Plasterk and Minister of Security and Justice Van der Steur have discussed this today [Wednesday, ED.]

"The Judicial Four Parties Consultation (periodic consultation between the Justice Ministers of St. Maarten, the Netherlands, Curaçao and Aruba) have agreed earlier this year that the law enforcement needs to be strengthened. The Ministers emphasize that strengthening of the St. Maarten Police Force KPSM and an effective trackling of border-transgressing and undermining crime and corruption is in the best interest of the people of St. Maarten and of the Kingdom.

"The protocol establishing the Integrity Chamber and strengthening of the law enforcement, as agreed upon by St. Maarten and the Netherlands on May 24, 2015, remains in effect. An independent Integrity Chamber will be established for St. Maarten. Other agreements will be worked out to give content to the protocol regarding the tackling of border-transgressing and undermining crime, money laundering, drug trafficking, armed robberies, human trafficking and smuggling."

At least seven dead from Erika in Dominica

7deaddomCanefield airport in Dominica.

Roseau, Dominica (TDN) Tropical Storm Erica dumped several inches of rain on Dominica leaving behind a trail of death and destruction in its wake.
  From about 3 P.M on Thursday August 27, 2015 Erika began pounding the island with rain and surprisingly little wind. However the consistent rain has resulted in the unconfirmed deaths of at least seven individuals.
  Two brothers were reportedly washed away in Bath Estate when they returned to their previously evacuated home to retrieve some personal items and to take some photos.
  In the village of Good Hope villagers retrieved the bodies of an elderly gentleman and two children who were covered by a landslide. A similar scenario unfolded in Delices and Castle Bruce where one individual each were missing and feared dead.
  Across the island, Erika destroyed bridges and triggered landslides.
  In Roseau a church sitting on the edge of the river was partially swept away along with a stretch of road and at least two other wooden structures. No deaths were reported in that instance.
  At around noon on Thursday steady rains continued to inundate the island prompting authorities to warn residents to evacuate to higher ground.


SXM Airport Closed Till Friday Morning

sxmpjiae-logo

Date: August 27, 2015 No: PR2015/039

SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten (Thursday, August 27, 2015)—The Princess Juliana
International Airport, SXM, will remain closed as a precautionary measure until
Friday, August 28, 2015 at 7:00 AM as a result of the passage of TS Erika.
All travelers should contact their respective airlines for updated flight information.
Normal operations will resume Friday morning at the regular hours.
All SXM Airport personnel, users and stakeholders should take note.
SXM Airport will continue to monitor the situation very closely and inform
the public accordingly through the usual media outlets.
The management and staff of SXM Airport would like to thank the general
public for their understanding and hope that everyone would stay safe as we
weather this storm together.

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