Sunday, April 21, 2024

RBPF: Public safety during volcanic ashfall

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The Royal Barbados Police Force has issued some guidelines for public safety in light of the ashfall from the explosive eruptions of the La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent.

“The island of St Vincent has recently experienced an eruption of the La Soufrière volcano. This event has impacted several other islands across the region including Barbados, which has been experiencing ashfall islandwide.

“This ashfall is expected to continue for an extended period and will continue to impact road users across Barbados. The Royal Barbados Police Force is advising that all road users observe the following guidelines to heighten road safety awareness whilst utilising the island’s roadways during this period,” a statement from RBPF today said.

  1. Do not drive unless absolutely necessary. Driving on ash-slickened roads with reduced visibility can be hazardous. If you must drive, reduce your driving speed. In addition, with significantly reduced visibility, you may have to drive with your headlights and rear lights on to ensure that you can see sufficiently far ahead and that your vehicle is visible to other road users.
  2. During a significant increase in ashfall, pedestrians should seek shelter and minimize exposure to the ash.
  3. Remember, compliance with the COVID-19 Protocols and Directives, it is mandatory to wear masks when in public spaces. Pedestrians and motorists should limit time spent outdoors. The use of masks will also assist in reducing the chances of ash inhalation.
  4. Individuals with respiratory issues should avoid contact with the ash. Stay indoors until authorities say it is safe to go outside.
  5. Listen for up-to-date reports from official departments and news channels.
  6. Ensure that you communicate with and, where possible, monitor the vulnerable people in your communities such as the elderly and people with disabilities.
  7. Avoid any attempts at cleaning up the ash and debris from your surroundings until it is safe to do so. (PR)

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