Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Abrahams: It’s better to be prepared


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Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams has stood by Government’s decisions in relation to disaster preparedness leading up to the expected passage of Tropical Storm Gonzalo.

Abrahams, who was speaking during a live interview on Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation TV8, said that it will be business as usual on Saturday, after a tropical storm warning was discontinued around 8 p.m. today.

The Barbados Meteorological Services discontinued the tropical storm warning, noting that on its present path of 310 miles to the south east of Barbados, Tropical Storm Gonzalo no longer posed a threat to Barbados.

“It means that people’s Saturday is safe . . . . The average Barbadian, and Barbados can get back on track,” Abrahams noted.

He said there was a lot of pressure on Government to make a decision on the weather system.

“Safety will always trump other concerns, and the Government will always err on the side of caution when safety is concerned. But equally we have to be realistic and inject some certainty into what we’re doing and not be afraid to make the judgment calls when all the evidence points in a particular direction,” he said.

Abrahams again praised agencies for the state of readiness in anticipation of Tropical Storm Gonzalo, noting that a lot was done in the area of disaster management and flood mitigation.

The minister said those preparations were not in vain, because had the storm not drifted further south, or had intensified, Barbadians would be “scrambling trying do things”.

Abrahams said while “some little fine tuning” was necessary, all departments were well advanced on their disaster management checklists.

He also attributed much of the state of readiness to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which he said contributed to a “dry run” of health services, hurricane shelters and critical institutions.

“So, the COVID-19 pandemic and the discomfort and dislocation we had from that served a bit of a purpose in preparing us for the hurricane season. All of the things – the food security, the food supplies, the dispersion of critical transport facilities across the island, the filling of water tanks – all of these things were actually done, and in place if the system came,” he noted.

Acting Director of Barbados Meteorological Services, Sabu Best, said rain is expected from tonight into tomorrow, with the maximum accumulation of rainfall likely to occur between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. tomorrow. (BGIS)

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