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Turks & Caicos Natl Emergency Operations activated; what happens as Hurricane approaches



By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Team


#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – The Acting governor and Education Minister during a press conference on Saturday September 18 announced:  government offices and Public schools will remain closed until the all clear is given.

It was also announced that civil servants could look for their paycheques ‘soon’ as the TCIG has now promised they will be released early and ATMs will be well stocked for the inevitable rush.

All private businesses are requested to give their staff the appropriate time to prepare themselves for the storm including closing businesses where necessary; there has been a meeting with the hotel and tourism sector related to this and other protocols.

As tropical storm Fiona approaches the Turks and Caicos one hurricane shelter on each island will open. The shelters are as follows:

In Salt Cay: Clubhouse shelter in south district

In Grand Turk: Eliza Simmons Primary School

In South Caicos: The Community Centre on Sarah Hill

In North Caicos: Kew Community Centre

In Middle Caicos: Mount Moriah Baptist Church

In Providenciales: Gustavus Lightbourne Sports Complex

Shelters open at noon on Monday and one needs to move to a shelter, officials advise you make up your mind early.

People in flood prone areas should enter the shelters prior to the storm’s arrival and not attempt to drive once Fiona has arrived. Take at least 3 to 7 days of food and any necessary medication and download that new DDME app.

Alcohol, pets, smoking, and offensive language are not allowed in any shelters. To keep your pets safe make arrangements with a local vet.

The airport will be closed on Monday, not due to the public holiday and State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth but due to the approaching storm – Fiona, which is expected to pack severe enough winds that it warrants a suspension of flights.

Godfrey Smith, CEO of the TCIAA said this will likely lead to an increase in exiting travellers on Sunday therefore the Airports Authority  was preparing for around 500 passengers – a low number but remember it is the slow tourism season.  The TCIAA also braced for additional flights to accommodate and early exit of guests who may not want to ride out the hurricane in TCI.

On Monday:  there will be no American Airlines or JetBlue flights.  But there is a Delta flight to Atlanta, scheduled for a 9am departure; Caicos Express airways will run its flights to GrandTurk and PLS at 7:30am and 8:15am; InterCaribbean Airways will run two departures from the PLS, both to Kingston, Jamaica at 8:30am and 8:45am.

Extra flights put on for September 18 were American Airlines to Miami, stopping into SCU and departing PLS at 6pm; JetBlue Airlines into JFK departing at 5:35pm and an interCaribbean Airways flights, to Kingston leaving at 7pm on Sunday (today).

Grand Turk Cruise Center only opens when ships call.

If the weather is not favourable for berthing, then they will be diverted and the port will not open.  Akierra Misick, Minister of Physical Planning and infrastructure Development during that press conference confirmed the Cruise Center has its own protocol in the event of a storm adding that with some time left before Fiona makes her entrance into TCI territory, it is left to the cruise line to determine what happens at the cruise center in Grand Turk.

The roster for the Grand Turk Cruise Center at its website however shows there are no cruises scheduled to dock on Monday in the capital.

As for the weather effect of Fiona, Director of the Met said:  “TS fiona is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by today, Sunday before passing over or near the TCI on Tuesday.”

In a best case scenario the storm passes to the east, worst case scenario it passes directly over the TCI according to Dr. Holly Hamilton .

“This is dependent on how early the storm makes its northward turn. Marine conditions will begin to deteriorate by Sunday, tropical storm conditions will begin to affect the islands by late Monday and may  last through to Wednesday, major flooding has already been recorded in the Leeward islands .

Between 4 to 6 inches of rain are expected for the Turks and Caicos islands.”

A second NEOC press conference was announced for 6pm Sunday September 18.

Caribbean News

Millions to come from FSC 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Revenue from the Turks and Caicos’ Financial Services Sector will more than double in the next few years, if E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister gets his way.  It ‘s one of the reasons the country is investing so much capital into getting off of the EU blacklist and becoming a secure trustworthy financial destination. 

“The FSC’s revenues for 2020/21 was $10.5M— the figures for 2021/22, would be about similar,” he said.  He further explained that $10.5 million from the FSC represented about 2.6 percent of the country’s 408.5-million-dollar revenue.  Though it increased to $14 million in the 2021/22 financial year, finance is still a small fry compared to tourism or even stamp duties but that will change, says Saunders. 

“My revenue goal for the Government by the year 2029 [or] the election after the next election – is $500M.  By that time, I want the financial sector (FSC) revenues to represent at least 5% ($25M).  So that’s my goal for the financial sector by 2029.” 

This goal, should it be met, would increase the Government’s revenue by 100 million dollars, a significant increase in spending power for local upgrades and improvements for Turks and Caicos residents and visitors. 

Saunders says it’s time for the TCI to diversify its sources of revenue to make sure that what happened in the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw residents out of a job for months, will not happen again.  Tourism now makes up around 80 percent of the country’s GDP.  The Minister of Finance wants to push that down to 60 or even 50 percent.  

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Caribbean News

Debrief on Haiti Caribbean heads visit 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#Haiti, March 17, 2023 – When a CARICOM delegation visited Haiti earlier this month, conspicuously absent was the Turks and Caicos Islands despite being one of the nations most directly affected by the multi-dimensional crisis there.  There is no comment, as yet from the Premier, to say why this was the case.  

Still, from the expedition, CARICOM heads of Government have informed that there will be lobbying in Africa for assistance in Haiti.  They say they have decided that the best course of action for the Caribbean country is to bolster the Haitian National Police and act as intermediaries with Africa and the world.  The decision follows a one day visit on February 27th, and a March 5th meeting chaired by the Bahamas. 

CARICOM says during the trip delegates ‘met with a broad range of Haitian stakeholders to hear their views on the way forward to a Haitian-led solution’. With that in mind it has made a decision on how to proceed.

“The Heads of Government agreed to support the Haitian National Police in their efforts to address the security situation.  The focus of the Community will be the provision of training for the HNP and the provision of humanitarian assistance to HNP and the wider Haitian society, taking into account the challenging humanitarian and security situation”

It’s not clear yet where and how this training will take place.  Also distinctly absent from the report, no more mention of boots on the ground from other countries despite CARICOM Member States indicating they were ready and willing should it come to that.

In addition, recognizing ‘the common historical experiences and the strong African-Caribbean relationship’ CARICOM says,

“Heads of Government also agreed to seek support from African countries for Haiti.  They also agreed to work with the Governments of Canada and the United States as well as the UNDP”

Magnetic Media has reached out to the Premier’s Office to get a full debrief of the February 27th visit (led by Jamaica; including The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago) to learn of Turks and Caicos’ posture following the critical sessions.  

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Caribbean News




Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.

A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder.  From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships. 

A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’.  The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm




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