Published On: Mon, Oct 14th, 2019

Fire Dept./ODM: Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – “Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services,” was the theme for International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction that was observed globally on Sunday, October 13, Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator of the Office of Disaster Management Clive Richardson said on Monday.

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.

Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

“Sint Maarten has embarked upon a number of projects under the umbrella of the Trust Fund financed by the Government of the Netherlands, managed by the World Bank and coordinated by the Sint Maarten National Recovery Program Bureau.

“The funding provided is a result of the catastrophic national disaster caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 where critical infrastructure was severely damaged.

“Much effort is underway to strengthen the country’s critical infrastructure and other public services making them disaster resilient. Let us reflect on what has been achieved to-date and what is in the planning to further strengthen the country’s disaster resilience,” Richardson said on Monday.

At the same time, Richardson is calling on the community to remain vigilant as the country and region goes through the final two months of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season – October and November.

On Monday the National Hurricane Center issued its final advisory as the 13th named storm system of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, Subtropical Storm Melissa in the northern Atlantic Ocean became a post-tropical system losing its storm characteristics.

In the meantime, a new tropical depression has formed near the Cabo Verde Islands off the coast of Africa.

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

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

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

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