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Issac forces Roosevelt to abort India trip

Published: 
Thursday, September 13, 2018
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Some of the shelters available for tropical storm Issac in Dominica.

Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt aborted a trip to India in transit yesterday in order to be in the country which was preparing for the passage of Issac which has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Skerritt made it a point to assure Dominicans that he was in the country, “for those who are wondering, I am in Roseau Dominica and nowhere else. I was on my way to India to have some very important meetings there, but cancelled the trip in transit to return to be part of the preparation of the country for the approaching weather system.”

Skerritt said he was well aware that as the anniversary of the ravages wrought by Hurricane Maria on September 18, 2017 approaches, “all of us have anxiety reliving personal experiences during Maria, but we have to remain calm and continue to help each other so there is minimal anxiety.”

The Prime Minister urged the population to pray not just for Dominica but for the Carolinas in the United States with the approach of Hurricane Florence in that part of the world, “we can imagine their anxieties and pre-occupation. Pray that the hurricane will weaken and that the impact on life and property will not be an issue.”

He said while Dominica was “grateful to the Lord for downgrading” Issac the population should be no less alert than if a category five hurricane was approaching.

As a precautionary measure the Prime Minister announced all public offices will remain closed today when the system is expected to pass over Dominica, “we have accepted advice to suspend work for the public service on Thursday, September 13 and we would like to call on the private sector to follow in the same manner to have their employees stay home.”

The Prime Minister said his government is hoping to implement legislation before the end of the year “so when a decision is taken with regard to work it will apply to every employee in the country.”

Skerritt said the exception would be members of the essential services “and people like myself,” who are expected to be at work.

Skerritt also urged citizens to be their brothers’ keepers, “let us account for every single person in village community our surroundings. All of this is part of the preparatory process,” he said.

Fisher-folk were advised to ensure that they secure their boats, as Skerritt cautioned them they have a “personal responsibility to secure their livelihood.”

One hundred and eight emergency centres have been set up to assist the public and several private home owners have offered their homes to assist those who require shelter.

Citizens were urged to get to the shelters within thirty minutes of them being opened and not all rush to go at the last minute, thereby preventing the chaos which occurred which occurred after Maria struck. They were also informed that no pets, weapons or alcohol, or cigarettes will be allowed on the compound of the shelters.

As Skerritt urged the population to prepare he also urged “let us continue to pray, because with prayer all things are possible.”

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