By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, June 6, 2022 – The chance of the Turks and Caicos being impacted by a major storm has climbed significantly this year according to Doctor Holly Hamilton Director of Meteorology at the Turks and Caicos Islands Airport Authority.
Hamilton was speaking at the DDMEs 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Joint Press Conference, held Wednesday May 1st.
The event was attended by Minister of Immigration Arlington Musgrove, Mike Clerveaux Acting Director of the DDME , Eugene Williams Department of Planning Control Engineer and Roger Harvey, Assistant Maintenance Manager of the Public Works Department.
Hamilton explained the chance of impact for the Turks and Caicos as predicted by Colorado State University.
“For the named storms they’re forecasting a 59 percent chance we might be impacted by one this season,” she said, and that is up from 40 percent.
“For Hurricanes a 32 percent chance of us being impacted vs the 20 percent average and [there is] an 18 percent chance that we are impacted by a major hurricane vs the 11 percent average. So you see it is an across-the-board increase in the chance of us being hit.”
The year 2022 is the first in seven years a named storm has not developed before the June 1st start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season but the predictions prove that that doesn’t mean the season will be slow. Hamilton also explained that storms were more severe now.
“Globally it is about 25 percent more likely that a tropical cyclone will be at major intensity and in the Atlantic that proportion has more than doubled.”
Not only are more storms becoming hurricanes, they are also becoming stronger faster. What this means, Hamilton said, is hurricanes upgrade themselves (from category one to higher) more quickly, sometimes overnight. This makes it very hard to make accurate predictions.
As a reminder 14-21 named storms 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes are predicted for this season.
This she said made it extremely important for the TCI Islanders to download the DDME Alert app and PAY ATTENTION to all alerts from the DDME on the app or otherwise.
She noted that the TCI was very keen on creating its own meteorological centre in country.
Minister Arlington Musgrove seconded this stressing that it would be very beneficial for the islands.
Minister With Responsibility for Disaster Preparedness
Minister Musgrove while expressing his hope for a quiet season with no hurricanes encouraged readiness for the season saying, “I urge you to be proactive by downloading the DDME Mobile app, creating an emergency plan for your families, replenishing your stock of emergency supplies and taking the necessary steps to protect property and possession.”
He stressed that ‘preparation rests not just with the government but with all of us.’
Noting that no area on the islands was immune to disaster he said Islanders should ‘be wise and build our resilience capacity through preparedness…we are resilient people and resilient people proactively plan and prepare.”
Department of Planning
‘Plan ahead’ was the overarching theme of the press conference and the Planning Department’s Eugene Williams explained some ways TCI Islanders needed to prepare.
Public Works Department
TCI Islanders will not have to worry about drains at least, as Roger Harvey, Assistant Maintenance Manager of the Public works Department, assured that they were in excellent condition.
“All drainage in the Turks and Caicos Islands, we actually maintain them on a regular basis. We have improved the quality and the flow of water quite a bit and we have new wells drilled in the low-lying areas to receive the water as quickly as possible.”
Harvey also mentioned that the government had secured new heavy duty vehicles to help with cleanup and the flooding which frustrates access to the Providenciales International Airport has also been addressed.
The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies
Acting Director of the DDME, Mike Clerveaux said 23 shelters had been prepared for the season but not all would be open at the same time and shelter management training was almost complete with 63 shelter personnel ready to be deployed.
A meeting was held with the TCI Regiment, Police, telecommunications stakeholders and the National Security Secretariat on May 31st, Clerveaux revealed, and it supported finalizing plans for the season.
While the DDME did not have a concrete number on how many people had downloaded the new DDME free mobile App, Clerveaux said there would be intensified ad campaigns promoting the safety and sense of having this new tool.
Training for key individuals in command centres and simulation exercises with key places including the airport have also been completed.
Damage assessment training and radio communication training are underway and coming up are simulations between the Governor’s office and the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.
Register of Interests of the Members of the House of Assembly
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Integrity Commission advises that the Register of Interests for Members of the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022 has been completed.
Members of the House of Assembly are required by the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, Section 103(2), and the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended, Section 52(1), to file with the Commission, Statements of Registrable Interests. The Commission would, therefore, like to inform members of the public that, it has compiled the information contained in these Statements of Registrable Interests and has produced The Register of Interests 2022 for the Members of the House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022.
The Register of Interests 2022 is now available for public inspection at the following locations:
- House of Assembly in Grand Turk
- Office of the Premier – Grand Turk and Providenciales
- Office of the Integrity Commission – Grand Turk and Providenciales (during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.)
- Office of the District Commissioner – Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Register can be viewed at these locations during normal working hours or at a time that is convenient for the respective offices.
For further information or any assistance please contact the Integrity Commission:
By telephone at: 946-1941(Grand Turk Office) or 941-7847 (Providenciales Office) By e-mail at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
Guyana to build regional food hub
#Guyana, September 29, 2023 – Guyana is making moves to become the primary food production center for the Caribbean, going ahead with plans to develop a USD$14 million regional food hub.
In fact, as reported by the Observer, the facility has already been identified on the country’s Soesdyke /Linden Highway.
“We want Guyana to be the food hub, the primary production hub of the Caribbean so that we could supply the Caribbean. What we have, our colleagues in the Caribbean don’t have. We have arable flat land and abundant fresh water,” he said, adding that with the multi-million dollar US investment, the country can, “modernise the infrastructure, and start ramping up the productions.”
Also, the Agriculture Minister pointed out that the project is geared to make for a more competitive local Agriculture industry as well as developing high-yielding varieties, pest-resistant and climate-resilient varieties.
Additionally, in the facility’s development, Guyana, Mustapha said, will work with Belize.
In fact, with more on Belize’s involvement, Dr. Ashni Singh, Finance Minister, informed that the Government is in talks with the Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley about sourcing inputs from northern Brazil and transporting them through Guyana to Barbados and vice versa.
Singh also reportedly revealed that the project will help develop the growing logistics industry in Guyana.
Considering regional food import cost, with this development, Guyana is the leading Caribbean Community country pushing ahead with plans to reduce the multi-billion dollar regional food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, the Observer says.
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