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BAHAMAS: Minister Thompson says GB is in state of readiness as it braces for Hurricane Dorian

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#Freeport, GB, August 29, 2019 – Bahamas – The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in Grand Bahama has been activated, as a potentially category three storm rolls towards the Northern Bahamas.

Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson met with all members of the Grand Bahama Disaster Preparedness Committee, along with representatives from the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) on Wednesday afternoon in the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Committee, which consists of representatives from all of the relevant agencies in the country, gave the Minister a report of their readiness as Hurricane Dorian leaves behind a wave of destruction in Puerto Rico and turns its sights on parts of the Northern Bahamas.

“We are in a state of preparedness, getting ready for the effects of what could possibly be a very strong hurricane,” Minister Thompson told members of the media during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon, following the meeting with the Disaster Preparedness Committee.

“This hurricane we must take seriously. We take the attitude that we will pray, but also prepare at the same time. We have met with all of the key stakeholders and we want the public to be in a state of readiness. This storm is not to be taken lightly.

“We want to send the message to the residents of Grand Bahama and to the Northern Bahamas to take special heed to all of the alerts and all of the news relating to the passing of this hurricane. We urge residents to begin preparing their houses and their businesses to ensure that they are secured.”

As to the latest updates, on Wednesday afternoon Hurricane Dorian was passing Puerto Rico and is expected to skirt the Southern Bahamas, as it moved northwest. A turn to the west is expected to take place on Saturday, which will take it right over Abaco and Grand Bahama. During that time, it is expected to be a category 3 hurricane.

“All indications are that the islands of Abaco, Grand Bahama, the Berry Islands and even Bimini will experience strong gale force and hurricane force winds by Sunday morning,” said Shavon Moxey-Bonimy, Chief Meteorologist at the Freeport Weather Office. “Residents in these islands to make sure and prepare now for this hurricane.”

Minister Thompson called on residents to pay close attention and to heed the advice from NEMA and the Royal Bahamas Police Force when it comes to information regarding evacuations. While evacuations in some areas are not mandatory, Minister Thompson noted that those who know that their homes are in flood prone zones should evacuate ahead of the storm passing over Grand Bahama.

“We also want to assure the public that NEMA has been preparing for months and they have been in a state of readiness for months, preparing for this time,” said Minister Thompson.

Administrators in Grand Bahama who were on hand for the press conference urged all Grand Bahama residents to take heed to the warnings given and to do the necessary preparations immediately.

“I want to echo the sentiments of the Minister for Grand Bahama and to say to those who are residents of Grand Bahama and the surrounding Cays, that even though NEMA and the Grand Bahama Disaster Committee have done our part, we need the residents to do their part to ensure their safety,” said Don Cornish, Administrator for Freeport.

“One of the things that we’ve done over the years is we’ve trained persons for these sorts of situations. We’ve trained First Responders and needs assessment responders, as well as shelter management managers.”

Ms. Karen Seymour, Manager for Tourism on Grand Bahama, said that they have already made contact with all of the hotels, resorts and timeshare facilities on the island, keeping them abreast of preparedness plans.

With over 1,000 visitors on the island, Ms. Seymour said that they are in contact with the airlines and the ferry services to help visitors change reservations and leave the island before the storm approaches, as a part of the Ministry’s safety measures for their visitors.

Successive meetings will continue on Thursday and Friday between the Office of the Prime Minister, NEMA and representatives of the GB Disaster Preparedness Committee, as the storm approaches. 

“We have been here before, we have done this before, we have gone through these situations before and we are in a state of readiness, but we want persons to be vigilant and to be prepared,” said Minister Thompson.

“As I said, we will pray for the best, but we will be prepared for the worst.”

By Andrew Coakley

Release: BIS 

Photo Caption: Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Kwasi Thompson (centre) urged residents of Grand Bahama to begin making all of the necessary tasks to prepare for the passage of hurricane Dorian, during a press conference at the Office on the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon, August 28, 2019.  Before meeting with the press, Minister Thompson met with representatives of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and with members of the Grand Bahama Disaster Preparedness Committee, many of whom accompanied the Minister during the press conference.

(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

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Covid-19 Update for Turks & Caicos

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#TurksandCaicos, January 23, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos recorded seven new Covid-19 cases in the period from January 8th to 14th pushing the county’s total active infections to 18.  Four of the seven new cases were in Providenciales and three were recorded in the nation’s capital Grand Turk.

There were six recoveries during the period and the current death toll remains at 38.

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Skerrit holds on as Dominica Prime Minister, Snap Elections decimates the Opposition UWP

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By Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#Dominica, December 7, 2022 – The big story of the night was not that Roosevelt Skerrit and his Dominican Labour Party were able to hold onto electoral power in Dominica, but that independents caused an upset, denying the DLP a sweep of all 21 seats.

The snap election victory proved not to be a snap for Skerrit, who on a social media aired radio show congratulated the two independent candidates now holding seats in parliament.

Skerrit’s DLP was still unable to sway the constituents of Marigot and Salisbury; they continue to prefer other political options and this time, Anthony S. Charles won the Marigot constituency with 491 votes, securing – unofficially – a popular vote of 59.44 per cent.

Jesma Paul won with 617 votes with a voting turnout of 57.13 per cent and Lynsia Frank of DLP lost, receiving 463 votes 42.87 per cent from the Salisbury Constituency.

In a sixth consecutive political victory, the Dominical Labour Party gained one seat over their 2019 finish.  With a notable boundary change, the DLP took Rousea Central which had last time gone to the now, decimated UWP.

Elections are due every five years in Dominica; this election should have technically been held in 2024, however, Skerrit last month called the General Election early.

As prime minister he has the prerogative to call for an election anytime within the constitutionally mandated timeframe.  Still, the early call and boycott of the process by unprepared political parties drew in two election observer teams.

One from CARICOM, the other from the OAS.

Organization of American States dispatches team led by former Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie after concerns were voiced by residents and opposition members on the snap election called by Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to be held on December 6th the country’s leaders invited the Organisation of American States to witness the elections.

The OAS spoke to local media after ballots closed around 5pm explaining that for the most part they had not observed any questionable practices.

Perry Christie, former Bahamian Prime Minister who was part of the 16-person team told reporters

“We are aware of the extent to which there was concern about the electoral process. And or job simply is to make a report and recommendations all with the intention of advancing the democracy of this region— we are generally finding that the facilities are adequate, [though] there are one or two recommendations we will make.”

There were 15 seats up for contention since the ruling Dominica Labour Party was elected unopposed in five seats across the country as the main opposition party the United Workers’ Party boycotted the elections.

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Don’t be Spoofed!  Just Hang Up!

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, December 7, 2022 – Spoofing’, it’s a silly sounding word for a very real cybersecurity threat, a sneaky exercise that criminals have used to defraud people around the globe.  In a single operation last month police found that at least 70,000 UK citizens had been scammed out of  £46 million through spoofing.

By now sensitization campaigns and news articles have warned about Lottery scamming and residents may well be aware not to send anyone who promises to make you a millionaire any money but what if the call is coming from your bank?  This is the premise of spoofing.  While it too happens over the phone it differs from lottery scamming in a big way.

“Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity.  Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust,” the US Federal Communications Commission explains.

They can choose to appear as tax officers, your local bank, government institutions etc.

So how do you know if someone is trying to use spoofing on you?  And how do you protect yourself and your hard earned money?

The FCC says these scammers usually use a script, because, despite their appearance they don’t actually know you, as soon as the conversation begins. they make it their mission to get as much information about you as possible.

  • Hang up as soon as you get a suspicious call.  Don’t converse, don’t wait.
  • Request their full name, position at the institution they claim to be representing and the name of their manager.  Hang up and call the number listed in the phone book for the institution to verify the authenticity.
  • The FCC says, ‘do not respond to any questions’, especially those that can be answered with “Yes“ or “No.”
  • If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up.  Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it.  Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number.  A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.

Remember if in doubt just hang up.

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