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NEMO Appeals to Citizens to Exercise Extreme Caution During Trough System

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Local authorities have cautioned residents to be on guard and take precautionary measures to safeguard against the impending weather conditions activated through a trough that reportedly, will hover over the region for the next five to seven days.

According to the Saint Lucia Meteorological (MET) Services a trough system has been affecting the island as of November 21.

The Met Services has predicted that unstable weather conditions associated with the trough which includes heavy downpours, sea swells and strong winds is expected to affect Saint Lucia for up to 48 hours.

The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) continues to remind the public to exercise extreme caution and take all necessary measures to secure and protect their property.

“Saint Lucia is currently experiencing a trough system, which will bring about moderate to heavy showers …and isolated thunderstorm ,” said NEMO Acting Director Ms. Maria Medard.

Consequently, she added: “Persons who live in low-lying areas and areas prone to flooding, flash flooding, land slippages or landslides should remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions.”

Medard also cautioned small craft operators that wave heights have increased to 6 to 9 feet, and possible high winds along with the rough seas present unfavourable conditions. “We are asking you to be very cautious and to be very vigilant when you go out there,” she said.

Meanwhile, as the island braces itself for heavy showers as a result of a trough system, Prime Minister Philip J Pierre indicated it will be a major setback for the government and the country, generally, if more damages were to occur at this time.

Residents from the northern region have been grappling to recuperate from the November 6 trough system that devastated several parts of the community, resulting in damages, reportedly in excess of $6 million.

Reports indicated that the aforementioned weather system brought about flash flooding and landslides. In addition, the unexpected and unprecedented deluge left behind massive destruction of public and private properties, and impacted the lives and livelihoods of several families.

Residents from the East and West Coast roads have also been advised to be vigilant and exercise caution when traversing these highroads – as there are still high levels of soil saturation due to heavy rains in recent weeks.

Weather predictions indicate the approaching trough system is expected to increase the risk of flash flooding, landslides and rock fall.

PM Pierre said any further damages due to the natural hazards, will pose “a serious setback,” for the country, as “Anytime there is a weather event, we have to divert resources from one space to the other.”

The Castries South East constituency have had to undergo this perennial dilemma over the years, and MP Joachim Henry stated that  following the November 6 trough, the disaster committee groups in the constituency have been put on the alert to deal with the issue of flooding or an emergency.

“We anticipate there will be flooding… unfortunately it has become the way of life for people in Castries South East,” Henry told reporters, Monday. “It’s troubling… you have to live in a flood zone and continue to adjust yourself and adapt to it; but that’s the reality of it.”

Noting that the country can never be fully prepared for a disaster, PM Pierre declared: “What we have to do is mitigate and mitigation means we have to work with what we can control, which is the designing for now and stop throwing garbage in the rivers.”

Meanwhile, cognizant of the imminent dangers associated with the ravages of climate change, PM Pierre said, he was awaiting word from Education Minister Shawn Edward who is currently attending a COP 27 Conference, in Egypt.

The prime minister is anticipating brighter prospects to know, “if there are any tangible things to help us as far as climate change is concerned.”

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