Brian Dyer, director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department


Brian Dyer, director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department

NDMD: Be prepared as Hurricane Beryl heads toward island chain

From the NIA

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – Hurricane Beryl, the second named system for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, is heading toward the island chain and Brian Dyer, director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD), urging people to be prepared for possible effects from the storm if it continues on its current track.

Dyer said that at 11 a.m., the hurricane was located at latitude 10.7⁰ north, longitude 45.6⁰ west, moving west or west-northwest at 15 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds at 80 miles per hour. This general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours.

“It is forecast to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane as it approaches the islands,” he said. “It is also forecast to weaken a bit as it approaches the islands and enters an area with strong wind shear and dry conditions, but that is after it crosses into the Caribbean Sea. So, as it approaches the island chain Sunday, we are asking [people] to get all their preparatory actions in place and completed.

“The hurricane is expected to pass St. Kitts and Nevis, based on its current track, on the south of the islands and we should expect rough seas starting as early as Saturday. Then the weather conditions will deteriorate from Sunday into Monday as the storm gets closer to St. Kitts and Nevis.

“Hurricane Beryl is a very small storm. The hurricane force winds extend outwards just 10 miles; the tropical storm force winds extend outward just 35 miles. So, we may not feel the impact of the hurricane force winds, depending on how close it gets to the south of us, but we can expect some gusty winds especially with low cloud cover and rainfall. Some of the rainfall could be heavy at times and could pose a challenge to flooding for [people] living in low-lying areas and if the drainage is not cleaned, you can have overflooding of these areas as well,” he said.

Dyer also urged people to cut trees, clean drains, secure their important documents, ensure their vehicles are filled with gasoline in the event of evacuation at a moment’s notice, know where their emergency shelters are and to listen to the radio stations and the information coming from the Met Office and other national sources to ensure they receive relevant and current information. Updates will be provided from the St. Kitts and Nevis Met Services at 5 p.m., 8 p.m., and 11 p.m. and also via the disaster management offices – the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on St. Kitts, and the Nevis Disaster Management Department on Nevis.

Other information can also be accessed through the NDMD’s website and also on its mobile app NDMD in the Google and the Apple store.