Director of NEMO, Michelle Forbes is urging Vincentians to heighten their preparations for what is expected to be an above normal hurricane season.
Speaking to the Agency for Public Information, Forbes said it is important for people to take action now in terms of preparation and not to wait until there is a storm or hurricane approaching. “Cut your trees, trim your branches now, because when the storm is upon you, that is not the time to be out there doing that…..cut the overhanging trees now”, Forbes encouraged.
Forbes indicated that because there is still a lot of materials on the slopes and in the gullies from the eruption of La Soufriere including boulders, therefore, communities on the northern side of the island have become even more vulnerable in terms of the kinds of hazards, with the likelihood of lahars once there is moderate rainfall.
Forbes noted that “one of the most dangerous thing now is that there is no vegetation to hold the material together…because of the eruption”, so “you will have more disruptions…the rivers being blocked and impassable for a while, once we have heavy enough rainfall”.
NEMO’s Director said that NEMO’s preparation is continuous, they have already conducted their annual shelter inspection exercise of the over 140 designated shelters, they have been meeting with communities, community groups/ organisations and agencies like the Red Cross, because “it’s important that we have those community organisations in sync with us so that we can all be working together going forward”.