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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2055)

Dutch State Secretary Knops visits the Caribbean. Meets with Sint Maarten Parliament on Wednesday

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Dutch State Secretary R.W. Knops (Interior and Kingdom Relations) will pay a working visit to St. Eustatius, Saba and St. Maarten from Sunday, September 22nd till Wednesday, September 25th.

On Tuesday, September 24, the Dutch State Secretary Knops, will assess the concrete results of the reconstruction of the island. To this end he will speak in parliament and he will visit a number of projects that are made possible with Dutch money, including the restoring of houses.

During his visit to St. Eustatius there will be a town hall meeting on Monday. The State Secretary will then give an explanation to the residents of Statia about the state of affairs regarding the restoration of the administrative order on the island.

The island’s administration was taken over in March 2018 due to gross neglect of duties the island had to cope with.

State secretary Knops will visit Saba on Tuesday, where he will review the activities following the hurricane damage on the port. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Beacon Hill Road Partly Impassable. One lane available. Family physicians, Clinics and Drugstores

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Ministry VROMI would like to inform the public and especially the residents of the BEACON HILL area that Beacon Hill road located at the end of the SXM Airport runway is currently impassable due to the sand that has been accumulated on the road from the heavy sea surge caused by Hurricane Jerry.

The Ministry of VROMI has assets in place and is busy clearing one lane of the time of Beacon Hill road in order to allow residents to reach their property.

The Police Department will be assisting with traffic control in the area when the cleaning is ongoing.

This area will be monitored by Ministry VROMI in the event that the road is made inaccessible again due to the heavy sea surge in collaboration with the Police Department.

In reiterating the initial message of Friday morning, all businesses are to close by 2.00pm.

The following businesses are allowed to be open until 4.00pm namely, Pharmacies, Clinics, Family Physicians, Supermarkets, Restaurants & Hardware Stores.

Persons are urged to visit the Government website to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to adequately prepare for a storm/hurricane strike.

Visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to view the Hurricane Readiness Guide and download your “Hurricane Tracking Chart.” Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. And for official weather-related updates visit the website of Meteorological Department of St. Maarten, www.meteosxm.com

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EOC decides as precautionary measure to close schools, businesses and government. Three Shelters to Open at 3.00PM

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – After an assessment of the Friday morning forecast regarding Hurricane Jerry from the National Hurricane Center and the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS), heavy rainfall is expected starting late Friday afternoon and going into Friday night. Hurricane Jerry is expected to pass 140 miles from the country at it closest.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) chaired by Prime Minister Hon. Leona Romeo Marlin, in an EOC meeting on Friday morning, has taken the following decisions as a precautionary measure and for public safety:

All schools as well as afterschool community programs are to close by 2.00pm;                                                                  

All businesses are to close by 2.00pm. The following businesses are allowed to be open until 4 p.m. namely, Supermarkets, Restaurants & Hardware Stores.

In addition, exception is being made for the operations of the Airport, Harbour and Hotels, however management is asked to use their discretion considering the risks involved.

Government offices will close at 2.00pm; only emergency services and other relevant departments related to the aforementioned will remain open.

Three shelters will open at 3.00pm for those whose homes are not storm-ready; these shelters are the St. Peters Community Center; the Christian Fellowship Church in Cole Bay; and the Dutch Quarter Community Center (Dacca Road/Zorg en Rust);

The aforementioned measures are being taken in order to ensure that the public is safe with respect to the anticipated heavy rainfall associated with the passing of Hurricane Jerry.

Weather conditions according to MDS are expected to deteriorate late Friday afternoon and into Friday night with an improvement by midday Saturday.

Persons should remain indoors due to the risk associated with possible street flooding in low lying areas, as well as possible rock falls and landslides along hill side roads.

Remaining off the road network will also facilitate the first responders and the Ministry of VROMI to deal with any possible emergencies that should arise.

Additional information will be forthcoming during the course of the day or when necessary.

The country remains under a Tropical Storm Watch.

The potential impact for the country according to MDS, is total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 4 inches. Most of the significant showers are expected by late Friday into Saturday.

Persons are urged to visit the Government website to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to adequately prepare for a storm/hurricane strike.

Visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to view the Hurricane Readiness Guide and download your “Hurricane Tracking Chart.” Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. And for official weather-related updates visit the website of Meteorological Department of St. Maarten, www.meteosxm.com

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UPDATE: Friday is a Regular School and Business Day. No Closures due to Hurricane Jerry. To pass 150 miles from the country

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On Thursday evening the Prime Minister Hon. Leona Romeo Marlin provided an update with respect to Hurricane Jerry and what it would mean for the Sint Maarten community.  Read her national address to the nation below:

My Fellow Sint Maarteners and Visitors,

The Emergency Operations Center was officially activated on Thursday afternoon.  During that meeting we discussed the latest information available and, in a statement, issued by the Office of Disaster Management, additional information would be forthcoming as of 6.00pm.

Based on an assessment of the 5.00pm information from the National Hurricane Center and the advice of the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) on Thursday afternoon regarding Hurricane Jerry, the following decisions have been taken:

Friday, September 20 will be a normal business and school day.

Regarding Hurricane Shelters, there is no need to open the shelters as according to Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten, Hurricane Jerry is forecast to pass approximately 150 miles north, northeast from the country on Friday night.

The aforementioned actions have been closely discussed and synchronized with the authorities of the French side of the island.

The country remains under a Tropical Storm Watch which means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

The potential impact for the country according to the MET OFFICE from Hurricane Jerry is that the total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 4 inches. Some rainfall is possible later tonight into early Friday with most of the significant showers expected by late Friday into Saturday.

Flooding and/or rockslides are possible in flood-prone areas and along hillsides. Residents and users of these areas are advised to be vigilant.

Gusty winds could accompany showers Friday through Saturday. From Friday evening it is possible for storm force gusts to be experienced as the system moves north of the local area.

Swells up to 12 feet are possible during the passage of Hurricane Jerry, mainly along the north and eastern shores of the country. A gradual deterioration in sea conditions can be expected from tonight and will be more visible by Friday afternoon. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Beach erosion is possible in vulnerable areas. Sea-bathers are advised to stay away from the sea during the passage of Hurricane Jerry.

I would like to reassure the nation, that the Government has taken stock of its state of preparedness for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, and I also urge you to do the same. 

I would like to remind residents and business owners, to use the opportunity to revisit your business, household and family preparedness plans and be ready to take quick action when the need arises.

Persons are urged to visit the Government website to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to adequately prepare for a storm/hurricane strike. Visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to view the Hurricane Readiness Guide and download your “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”  Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. And for official weather-related updates visit the website of Meteorological Department of St. Maarten, www.meteosxm.com

The EOC will be meeting on Friday morning to review the latest weather information regarding Hurricane Jerry.  Additional information will be provided by the Office of Disaster Management on Friday.

Thank you

May God Bless Sint Maarten.

PM L ROMEO MARLIN 2019 new

Prime Minister Hon. Leona Romeo Marlin

 

ARCHIVE - GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Prime Minister Hon. Leona Romeo Marlin officially activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) after 2.00pm on Thursday in a meeting with the 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) and associated partners.

Tropical Storm Jerry has been upgraded to a Hurricane and is the fourth hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. The country remains under a Tropical Storm Watch at this point in time, however this status could be upgraded later today.

An announcement will be made at 6.00PM via all media by the Prime Minister with respect to the status of schools, businesses and the public sector, after a weather forecast assessment with information from the National Hurricane Center at 5.00pm has been analyzed.

The EOC has been working diligently with the authorities of the French side of the island in order to synchronize measures for Sint Maarten/Saint Martin.

Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson advises the population to continue to closely monitor the progress of Hurricane Jerry and to review their Disaster Emergency Kits.

The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) in its Thursday Special Weather Bulletin said Hurricane Jerry was located over 500 miles east southeast of the country.

MDS further states in its bulletin that on its current track, Hurricane Jerry is expected to pass approximately 120 miles to the north, northwest of the country on Friday night.

The MDS adds that the effects of the system could begin by Friday.

MDS will be monitoring the system and will keep the public updated accordingly.

The community and new residents are urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

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Sarah awaiting the views of the Court, the Bar Association, and the Public Prosecutor

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – President of Parliament Hon. Sarah Wescot Williams said in a press statement on Thursday that: “In my deliberations on the changes to the three Codes (Civil, Criminal and Criminal Procedure) with the Minister of Justice, I have repeatedly voiced my concerns with the ambivalent responses by Government to the Council of Advice’s report (advice).”

Answers such as:

- Time did not permit a more profound analysis.

- Lack of resources caused a mere superficial review.

- CFATF timeline does not permit more in-depth scrutiny.

Of particularly concern was Government’s reaction that time did not permit a full due process to include a constitutional vetting of some elements, or worse yet that AML/CTF legislation supersedes all the above. 

In addition, the Government admitted not having heard stakeholders such as the Joint Court, the Bar Association or the Prosecutor’s office.  Again, due to time constraints. It is difficult in my opinion that the Parliament accepts such and proceeds with the handling, missing these important links. 

In my capacity as Chair, I have formally requested the mentioned agencies to provide Parliament with their views on the matter of “Crown Witness”, a phenomenon we have been told is presently practiced, but not formally regulated in our Code. 

So, the question is:

Should we allow the practice, based on jurisprudence to continue as is or should we regulate the Crown Witness procedure as proposed by the Minister in the revised Criminal Procedures Code of St. Maarten? 

I am a proponent of the latter; however, I hasten to say that the “Crown Witness” is not a topic on its own, but rather part of the whole Witness chapter in the Criminal Procedure Code. 

All this put together and the other changes to especially our revised Criminal Procedure Code need a serious review by Parliament and the community at large, as these include punishments etc.  

On a separate but related note, the recent presentation by Professor mr. Dr. Douwe J. Elzinga hit the nail on the head and strengthens what I have stated over and over again. 

“For ease, time and due to lack of human resources on the many fronts preparing for country status, we have adapted, sometimes copy-pasted much from the Netherlands. The cultural and other differences in the application of these laws and such are becoming more evident by the day.”

In his presentation, Professor Elzinga speaks of “legal transplants.” 

https://koninkrijksrelaties.nu/2019/09/15/opinie-concordantie-in-het-koninkrijk-heeft-ook-nadelen/?utm_campaign=Advertisers+Bonaire&utm_content=Dagelijks+nieuws+over+het+Koninkrijk&utm_medium=email&utm_source=getresponse )

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Prime Minister addresses nation concerning Tropical Storm Jerry

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – On Wednesday afternoon the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) met chaired by Prime Minister Hon. Leona Romeo Marlin regarding Tropical Storm Jerry.

On Wednesday evening the Prime Minister delivered the following address to the nation:

My Fellow Sint Maarteners and Visitors,

The Emergency Operations Center met on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Tropical Storm Jerry.

As of 5.00pm on Wednesday, the country is now under a Tropical Storm Watch.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Tropical Storm Jerry is forecast to pass near St. Maarten on Friday. Jerry is forecast to become a Hurricane on Thursday.

The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten says that Tropical Storm Jerry should pass approximately 115 miles to the north of the country on Friday night based on the tracking information of Wednesday afternoon.

I can fully understand that people are anxious at this point in time with the approaching storm. The Government has taken stock of its state of preparedness for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, and I also urge you to do the same.

I would like to remind residents and business owners, since we are in the midst of the hurricane season, to use the opportunity to revisit your business, household and family preparedness plans and be ready to take quick action when the need arises.

Tropical Storm Jerry is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the country. On Thursday, based on updated information provided by the MET DEPT, information will be provided with respect to the status of schools on Friday. An announcement will also be made with respect to the Hurricane Shelters whether those will be open as a precautionary measure.

In addition, contractors and builders are urged to review and implement their tropical storm/hurricane plans in order to secure construction and building sites. Marine/boat yards should also review and implement their plans to secure the aforementioned as well as storage and wholesale depots.

As a precautionary measure, the Sint Maarten Police Force on Thursday will move into a higher state of preparedness. Assistance has also been requested for the Marine detachment on the island to be ready to assists our Police Force should it become necessary in order to maintain public order.

The various Emergency Support Functions are ready for the passing of Tropical Storm Jerry.

Persons are urged to visit the Government website to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to adequately prepare for a storm/hurricane strike. Visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to view the Hurricane Readiness Guide and download your “Hurricane Tracking Chart.” Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. And for official weather-related updates visit the website of Meteorological Department of St. Maarten, www.meteosxm.com

Thank you

May God Bless Sint Maarten.

EOC Wed in Session Ref TS Jerry pix2 SN

 

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Fire Dept./ODM: Tropical Storm Jerry Forms. EOC Convenes Wednesday afternoon

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson said on Wednesday that the 10th-named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season has formed several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles – Tropical Storm (TS) Jerry. 

A meeting of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been convened for the latter part of Wednesday afternoon allowing for disaster management officials to review the 5.00pm assessment forecast from the National Hurricane Center.  A statement will be released to the public after the conclusion of the meeting.

Office of Disaster Management (ODM) advises the population to continue to closely monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Jerry and to review their Disaster Emergency Kits.

The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) in its Wednesday morning Special Weather Bulletin said TS Jerry was located over 800 miles southeast of the country.

MDS further states in its bulletin that TS Jerry is forecast to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane late Thursday.  On its current track, TS Jerry is expected to pass approximately 105 miles to the north of the country on Friday night.

The MDS adds that the effects of the system could begin by Friday and watches and warnings will be issued later today.

MDS will be monitoring the system and will keep the public updated accordingly.

The community and new residents are urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. 

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

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Fire Dept./ODM calls on public to monitor the progress of Tropical Depression #10

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson is calling on the populace to closely monitor the progress of Tropical Depression #10 (TD#10) which formed on Tuesday morning.

The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) issued a Special Weather Bulletin on Tuesday morning, stating that TD#10 was over 1200 miles east southeast of the country.

MDS further states in its bulletin that TD#10 will approach the northern Leeward Islands either Thursday night or Friday, and that the system is forecast to become a hurricane by the time it approaches the northern Leeward Islands.

Once TD#10 reaches tropical storm/hurricane status within the next few days, it will be called Imelda.

MDS will be monitoring the system and will keep the public updated accordingly, and it also request the public to do the same.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is prepared and stands ready to convene should the weather system’s forecasted track pose a direct threat to the country.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) reminds residents and business owners since we are in the midst of the hurricane season, to use the opportunity to revisit your business, household and family preparedness plans and be ready to take quick action when the need arises – be storm ready!

The community and new residents are urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

During the season, weather authorities issue watches and warnings with respect to a tropical storm or hurricane. Residents should be familiar with these terms.

A Tropical Storm Watch is issued when a tropical cyclone containing winds of 34 to 63 knots (kt) (39 to 73 miles per hour (mph) or higher and poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, and/or coastal flooding. The watch does not mean that tropical storm conditions will occur. It only means that these conditions are possible.

A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when sustained winds of 34 to 63 kt (39 to 73 mph) or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, and/or coastal flooding.

A Hurricane Watch is issued when a tropical cyclone containing winds of 64 kt (74 mph) or higher poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, and/or coastal flooding. The watch does not mean that hurricane conditions will occur. It only means that these conditions are possible.

A Hurricane Warning is issued when sustained winds of 64 kt (74 mph) or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, and/or coastal flooding. A hurricane warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.

The remaining storm names for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season are: Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season! The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends on November 30.

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Minister of VROMI Wever foils creative attempt to light dump with flare gun

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Hours after giving a presentation on the Philipsburg Dumpsite, Minister of VROMI Christopher Wever foiled what appears to be an attempt by unknown person(s) to start a new dump fire.

Many persons in the Philipsburg area including Minister Wever who was driving along the Walter Nisbeth Road in Philipsburg around 6:30 pm on Saturday spotted the flare in the sky before it landed at the Dumpsite.

Wever, who is the Minister of Public Housing, Physical Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI) and responsible for the upkeep of the Philipsburg Dumpsite quickly sprang into action and drove to the Dumpsite to investigate. While on his way, the Minister alerted the authorities of what he had just witnessed.

Upon reaching the landfill, the Minister and the supervisor of the company who secures the landfill searched to find the flare, which was still burning at the time. The Minister and supervisor of the security company were able to use buckets of water to dispose of the flare properly. They did so to avoid a major fire outbreak, which was the likely intent of the person who shot it into the air just moments before.

The Philipsburg Dumpsite has been a cause of concern throughout the community for a very long time. Besides the Philipsburg Dumpsite being "an eyesore" since it sits in the centre of Philipsburg, the Dutch St. Maarten Capital, there have been numerous dumpsite fires over the past few years, in particular, some of which many felt were malicious.

Wever said, Sunday "We will find a permanent solution for the waste disposal needs on our island, but these malicious act of lighting the dumpsite are counterproductive to our efforts," 

Wever issued a call for an investigation to determine who fired the flare gun into the Dumpsite.

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Man arrested for arson

MADAME ESTATE - On Friday September 13th, 2019, approximately 1.50 am, the police patrol of Philipsburg was directed to the Madame Estate area, where a car was supposedly set on fire, police announced on Friday. 

At the scene the patrol encountered a man with the initials K.G.A.S.  who was suspected of committing arson. The suspect who is well known to the police was arrested and brought over to the police station in Philipsburg.  He was incarcerated pending further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force) 

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