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Prime Minister of Dominica Meets with Marlin. Pledges Support

POND ISLAND - On Sunday morning, the Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit paid a brief courtesy visit to the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, the Honorable William Marlin.

The Dominica Prime Minister said that he had to come personally to express sympathies to the government and people of Sint Maarten, because of the longstanding bond and friend ship with Sint Maarten.

The Prime Minister expressed the willingness of his government to assist with water, dry goods and sometime next week, a shipment of provisions, plantains and avocados will also be sent.

Sint Maarten’s Prime Minister gave a brief overview on the damage sustained and explained some of what was done already and what is still ongoing. He then thanked the Dominica Prime Minister on behalf of the government and people of Sint Maarten.

On Sunday morning, Prime Minister Marlin also received a courtesy visit from the Chinese Consul general stationed in Curacao.

The Consul said he immediately got approval to cut short his vacation in order to come to Sint Maarten to see firsthand the damage that was caused by Hurricane Irma.

He expressed sympathies to the people and government of Sint Maarten on behalf of the Chinese government.

He said that he had briefly met with a group of Chinese business people on the island and they all expressed that they will stay on the island and contribute to the rebuilding.

About 28 Chinese citizens, among them several expecting mothers and newborns left the island for a short period.

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NV GEBE Reconnects a Number of Districts with Electricity

PHILIPSBURG – A number of districts throughout the country have been energized and personnel from NV GEBE, the main electrical supply company, continue to work to bring other districts online with electricity as well as potable water.

Much praise has gone out to the management and employees of NV GEBE with respect to the around-the-clock work that they have been doing in order to bring back some form of normality after the devastation left behind by Hurricane Irma.

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District Clinics and Pharmacies Operational

PHILIPSBURG – A number of General Practitioner (GP) clinics and Pharmacies have reopened and are dispensing medicine. Some GPs are also operating out of alternative locations in order to provide medical services to their clients and the general public.

The clinics and pharmacies open around 8.00 AM in the morning and close by 2.30 PM in the afternoon.

A country-wide curfew remains in effect due to the natural disaster.  It is lifted early in the morning and goes back into effect as of 3.00 PM.

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Man shot dead. Investigation underway

ST. JOHN’S ESTATE - The detective department is presently investigating the fatal shooting of the man with the initials S.W. who resides at an address on Emancipation drive in St. John’s Estate.

The police received the first call at approximately 5 pm informing them of the incident. Immediately several police patrols, detectives and the Forensics department were directed to the scene, to gather information to what had taken place.

On the scene, the lifeless body of the victim was located. The scene was cordoned off, to collect evidence.  The victim seemed to have been shot to death because of several gunshots.

The suspect in this case and the reason why the victim was shot is unclear and is under investigation. The body of the victim is confiscated for further investigation. Potential witnesses were interviewed by detectives.

The Police department is asking anyone with information regarding this case to get in contact with the police by calling 542 22 22 or the temporary emergency number 919. (Sint Maarten Police Force)    

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WEATHER WATCH: Two Tropical Disturbances being Monitored in Atlantic

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – The National Hurricane Center (NHC) out of Miami is monitoring two tropical disturbances currently out in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.  Both systems have a 70 per cent chance of development over the next five days.

Additional information about both systems can be found below:

A tropical wave located about 800 miles southwest of the Cabo Verde

Islands is producing disorganized cloudiness and showers.

Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for gradual

development of this system, and a tropical depression will likely

form early next week while it moves westward at around 15 mph across

the tropical Atlantic.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.

TROP DISTURB TWO THUR* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.

Another tropical wave, located south of the Cabo Verde Islands, is

producing a large area of shower and thunderstorm activity.  This

system has become much better organized since yesterday and could

become a tropical depression during the next couple of days before

upper-level winds become less conducive for development.  The

disturbance is forecast to move westward to west-northwestward at 10

to 15 mph across the far eastern tropical Atlantic for the next

several days.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...60 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.

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Urgent Mandatory Meeting on Monday for Social Workers and Psychologists and others

PHILIPSBURG – The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) within the Ministry ECYS (Education, Culture, Youth & Sports) in collaboration with the school boards is inviting all social workers, psychologists, counselors, and the student care coordinators of the public school and subsidized schools to a mandatory important meeting at NIPA staff room on Monday, September 18th at 10am. 

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InselAir St. Maarten bound flight returns to Curacao due technical problems

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - Unfortunately, InselAir had to cancel its flight from Curacao to Sint Maarten on Tuesday, September 5, according to a press release from the airline.

“The flight was scheduled to be operated earlier because of the closing time of the airport in St Martin due to hurricane Irma. At departure from Curacao, the aircraft had technical problems with the Vertical Speed Indicator.

“This problem had to be resolved before the aircraft could be dispatched. This replacement usually takes about an hour and a half. The situation on Sint Maarten made it however impossible to operate the flight in time, as the winds en route are forecasted to be out of limits for the aircraft to be safely operated.

“InselAir sincerely regrets not being able to operate the last flight before Irma will arrive on St Martin. Our prayers and thoughts are with the people of St Martin. As soon as the situation allows the flights will be re-instated.”

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HURRICANE IRMA CLOSURE NOTICES: SZV, Sxm Cable TV, Mental Health, SLS Lab

PHILIPSBURG – Social & Health Insurances SZV would like to inform the public that regular opening hours will remain (7:30 am – 3:30 pm) for today, Monday September 4th.

SZV offices will be closed tomorrow Tuesday September 5th, until further notice.

  

SXM CABLE TV, OFFICE CLOSURE NOTICE IN CONNECTION WITH HURRICANE IRMA

MADAME ESTATE - Based on the current Hurricane Irma advisory, St. Maarten Cable TV office in Madame Estate will close to the public as of today 4:45 pm until further notice.

CalaWeather, Ch. 150, The Weather Channel, Ch. 151 and One Caribbean TV, Ch. 117 has been put in the clear for all subscribers to be able to monitor the impending weather.  Management

 

ST MAARTEN LABORATORY SERVICES PUBLIC NOTICE

PHILIPSBURG - “The management of St. Maarten Laboratory Services N.V. (SLS) would like to inform you, that on Tuesday September 5th, 2017 SLS and all it respective branches will be closed due to the approaching Hurricane. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, please stay tune to the official hurricane message to be informed of its opening days after the passing of the Hurricane.”

 

MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION PUBLIC NOTICE

CAY HILL - MHF clinics and Faraja center will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Admission will stay open and as some patients are discharged, only 4 patients will stay at MHF. 

This is including the short and long stay. 

Emergency Phone line (Mobile:  +1-721-5205556) will stay active as long service is available.

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WEATHER WATCH: Hurricane Irma swells to reach islands on Monday

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Weather conditions in the Northern Leeward Islands of Antigua & Barbuda, St. Barths, Sint Maarten/St. Martin, Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, will start to deteriorate on Tuesday evening as major Category 3 Hurricane Irma nears the islands.  Irma’s swells will start to begin affecting the northern Leeward Islands on Monday and can cause life threatening surf and rip currents. 

Hurricane Watches have been issued for a number of the Leeward Islands and preparations are well underway by the various populations from the territories and countries. 

Some strengthening is possible over the next 24 to 48 hours according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Sunday.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles and tropical storm force winds up to 140 miles.

Irma is now on a west to southwest track and on Monday is forecast to turn toward the west to northwest. This will determine on Monday evening how close Hurricane Irma will be to the northern Leeward Islands as it approaches on Tuesday.

Based on the Sunday evening forecast, major Hurricane Irma is expected to pass near the northern Leeward Islands with 140 mile per hour winds – Category 4.

A Hurricane Hunter NOAA aircraft has already traveled to the location of the hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean to carry out a number of test and observed that the system’s eye has a diameter of 25 nautical miles.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

  UPDATE - WEATHER WATCH: Irma a Small Hurricane, but still to become a Dangerous System

ARCHIVE, Saturday, September 2, SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Hurricane Irma on Saturday morning was over 1200 miles east of the Leeward Islands tracking across the Atlantic Ocean towards the Caribbean. 

Irma has been described by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as a small hurricane at this point in time.  Hurricane force winds extend outward from the center up to 25 miles, and tropical storm force winds extend 70 miles outward.  This is good news in the sense that the 110 miles per hour sustained hurricane force winds are within the 25-mile area.

The un-official approximate closest point of approach to Sint Maarten as of Saturday morning was approximately 148 miles on Wednesday afternoon, September 6.

Hurricane Irma is a Category 2 hurricane at this time and is expected to strengthen over the next few days to a major Category 3 or dangerous Category 4.  The system will undergo within the next 48 hours its track to the south due to the building of a high-pressure ridge. 

Once the ridge weakens, the hurricane will take a more west-northerly track and disaster management officials in the Leeward Islands will have a better idea on how close Irma will get to the islands.

The Leeward Islands stretch from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands in the north to Dominica in the south.

The NHC key message on Saturday is:

Irma is expected to be a major hurricane when it moves closer to the Lesser Antilles early next week, producing rough surf and rip currents. Irma could also cause dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts on some islands, although it is too soon to specify where and when those hazards could occur.  Residents in the Lesser

Antilles should monitor the progress of Irma through the weekend and listen to any advice given by local officials.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

WEATHER WATCH: Irma too close to call. Coming days will determine exact track

ARCHIVE, Friday, September 1, SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Crown Weather reported on Friday that, “Irma rapidly intensified into a major hurricane yesterday. Since then, Irma has leveled off in intensity with satellite imagery indicating that an eye is evident from time to time. Some dry air infiltrating the storm and the fact that Irma is moving over ocean water temperatures that are moderately warm in temperature are keeping the hurricane in check for now.

“I don't think that we will see Irma significantly intensify again for the next day or two, however, significant strengthening will become likely once again next week as it moves into an environment that is extremely favorable for intensification. In fact, I think that there is a high chance that we will see Irma become a Category 4 or even a Category 5 hurricane as it's approaching the northern Lesser Antilles around Tuesday and Wednesday.”

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) out of Miami says Irma remains a powerful hurricane with winds of 110 miles per hour, and will remain so for days.  On Friday morning Irma was over 1500 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

The Leeward Islands comprise of: U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin/Sint Maarten, St. Barths, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Montserrat, Guadeloupe and Dominica.

The intensity of the hurricane has been reduced over the coming days. On Tuesday and Wednesday, September 5 and 6, Irma according to the forecast would be a major Category 3 hurricane east of the Leeward Islands with 125 mph winds.

It is still difficult to say what the exact course the hurricane will take but weather watchers will have a better view on this on Monday.  In the meantime, between now and then, Irma will be moving on a northwest track followed by west and then southwest before adjusting once again.

Crown Weather adds that, “The latest GFS model guidance forecasts a track that keeps Irma far enough northeast of the Lesser Antilles to not be a significant threat,” and adding that the, “The operational European model guidance has shifted a little to the north with its forecast track of Irma. It still forecasts significant to major impacts to Antigua, St. Martin and Anguilla on Wednesday but spares the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico a major impact. From there, the operational European model guidance forecasts a gradual recurve just east of the United States next weekend.”

Another model according to Crown Weather, “The hurricane model track guidance also seems to suggest a track far enough north and east of the Lesser Antilles to not be a significant threat.”

The three models give varying scenario’s, but also some good news where Irma could veer more to the north not to pose a significant threat to the islands.  We now must continue to monitor weather reports closely and follow advisories of disaster management organizations in the coming days while the threat continues to be assessed.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

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