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Barbados Prime Minister speaks to country ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian; said country is preparing for 6-12 feet storm surge

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#Barbados, August 25, 2019 — Barbados is preparing for a storm surge of 6 to 12 feet as the fourth named system in the Atlantic Basin is formed and forecast to slam into the  island by Monday evening.

The country, according to its Prime Minister Mia Mottley is on ‘full, high, alert” as one of three Caribbean nations under Tropical Storm warning.  St Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines were also put on the warning list today by the National Hurricane Center, based in Miami Florida.

“We expect the surf to be considerable, about 6 to 12 feet, that’s 2.5 to 3.5 metres and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy and Fisheries Division has made arrangements for a haul up to take place at Pile Bay and Bay street and Port Ferdinand and Port St. Charles are prepared to take in vessels this afternoon for safe harbor.”

On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley addressed her country and its visitors in a 36 minute nationally televised press conference on the encroaching hurricane.  Prime Minister Mottley’s focus was on the potential of the storm to evolve quickly, debilitate country operations and cause harm to people and property. 

I want to say to Badians; look, it is Sunday afternoon, it is 2:30, pause if you were sleeping, if you were eating, whatever you were doing focus on just getting yourself ready at home.  The first responsibility for yourself is by you,” with a sense of urgency, Prime Minister Mottley added, “Let us get out of the way, in the next few hours, the clean up around our house and the preparations. 

We do not know if this storm will quicken and if it does, we do not know what you will be able to do in the morning if/when the reconnaissance aircraft it presents a dimmer picture than we currently have.”

At the time of the press conference, she confirmed that meetings had already happened with all key agencies and plans were mobilized for even evacuations to take place.

“The St Lucy District Hospital is being evacuated this afternoon and people will go to the Gordon Cummins Hospital and the Geriatric Hospital from there.  The other place that will be evacuated is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and those persons will go to the psychiatric hospital.”

Some supermarkets agreed to extend their Sunday shopping hours; fishermen were asked to work immediately toward moving their vessels to safe ports and it was confirmed that generators at the hospital are in place and fully functional and established water tanks are full, with three new back-up water bladders preparing to be fast tracked from the harbor and into service as an emergency supply.  

A revised shelters list will be circulated by Barbados Government Information Services and due to school still being closed for the Summer break, Prime Minister Mottley assured that if necessary, capacity can be easily expanded.

“Transport Board buses will remain operational until midnight tonight and will start back at 5 am and obviously we will ask that those who have to work late this evening, that arrangements be put in place to have workers be able to get home.  And let us use the brotherly and sisterly spirit that we need.”

Capacity of buses for Sunday was at 75 in operation, still the Transport Authority was asked to “mobilise and know immediately who are some of the private sector operators who can supplement as we go forward.”

It was shared that the public transportation has a plan in place for after the storm.

Electricity, fuel and heads of departments of Civil Service were other major issues addressed by the Prime Minister.

Hon Mottley expressed that the electricity company, Barbados Light and Power had already addressed an area of concern in Spring Garden over the weekend.

Residents in areas where pumping stations are being outfitted with new generators were advised by PM Mottley to brace for an up to 3-hour interruption in electricity as the new equipment is installed.

“The truth is that we are significantly in a better situation with respect to water generation and water tanks this year than a year ago.”  

Grocery stores open late to allow residents to ready themselves for approaching Tropical Storm Dorian, forecast to hit Barbados with 50mph winds, 2-3 inches of rain. Image from Barbados Today video.

All government Permanent Secretaries, Chief Technical Officers and Heads of Department were scheduled to come in to work on Sunday to secure government equipment and files. 

Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith, at the press conference, assured that the Royal Barbados Police Force will be on duty during the storm and encouraged residents to, from tomorrow, remain indoors and to be on their best behavior.

Prime Minister Mottley added that no one is expected to be out once the ‘shut down’ is given.

Not uncharacteristic for Caribbean countries, a prayer was rendered for the safety of the Barbados.

Seventh Day Adventist Elder, Colin Jordan who is also a Barbados Government, Cabinet Minister prayed in part: “We are happy Father that you have called us to lead and to be responsible citizens in this country. We recognize that while you are in control and while you have promised to protect us, you have also said to us that faith without works is dead.  And so as we prepare for any challenge that may come form Tropical Storm Dorian, we pray that you will give us wisdom, knowledge, understanding and help us to see what needs to be done and help us to treat this matter as one that is important and one that is urgent. We pray that you will protect our country…”

Barbados has a population of 293,131 people according to the CIA World Fact Book.

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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