Published On: Fri, Jul 6th, 2018

HURRICANE BERYL – Opening Statement by the Prime Minister at today’s Press Conference

EOC PRESS CONFERENCE Ref Hurricane Beryl 060718

I would like to welcome members of the media to this press conference this afternoon. I will be giving an update with respect to our national precautionary preparations in connection with Hurricane Beryl.

To the residents and visitors of Sint Maarten

Good afternoon,

Since my last statement on Thursday, there have been some significant developments.  The second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season has formed into a Hurricane.

Hurricane Beryl at this point in time does not pose a threat to country Sint Maarten.

Hurricane Beryl on Friday morning was located over 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.  The hurricane is moving westward towards the Lesser Antilles.

The National Hurricane Center has not issued any watches or warnings, but hurricane watches could be needed for some of the islands by tonight.

Hurricane Beryl is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday.  Beryl will still be a hurricane when it reaches the Lesser Antilles.

Beryl is a compact hurricane where hurricane-force winds extend outward from the center up to 10 miles and tropical-storm force winds up to 35 miles.

Even though Hurricane Beryl does not pose a threat at this time to Sint Maarten, the Government of Sint Maarten has decided to take precautionary measures.

An official request has been made to the Governor of Sint Maarten for the support of the Dutch Marine detachment currently stationed on the island.

Hurricane Beryl is a Category 1 hurricane.  Due to a number of homes still under construction, and roofs not fully repaired; the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will take the decision within short to open Hurricane Shelters.

The shelters that maybe opened are:
Milton Peters College Gym;
Rupert Maynard Community Center;
John Larmonie Center;
Dutch Quarter Community Center;
& the Christian Fellowship Church.

The General Public is asked to stay tune for further updates.

Persons who will be making use of these shelters must bring along with them, water, food, snacks, baby formula, medications for the 48-hour period.  Families must also ensure that they bring along enough of the aforementioned for each member of their family.
The Shelter Management Team will provide sleeping bags, cots and blankets.

Individuals and families should first make arrangements to stay with family, friends or neighbors and to secure their personal belongings before they leave their current location.
There are a number of shelters that received some damage from last year are currently in the process of being repaired or getting ready to be repaired.

The Shelter Management Team will be enforcing the rules related to safety and security at shelters.  Therefore, the cooperation of those making use of the shelters is greatly appreciated.

The Government of Sint Maarten and its Disaster Emergency Management system over the past months have been very busy coordinating and training to improve our state of preparedness and response to weather related and other natural disasters.  These preparations and trainings will continue.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to closely monitor the progress of Hurricane Beryl.  Residents are advised to do the same.

I once again appeal to residents and the business community to review your hurricane season preparations by checking your disaster supply kit and reviewing your disaster plan.

Additional updates about Hurricane Beryl will be provided by the Meteorological Department and the Department of Communication.

Thank you for your attention and May God Bless our Sint Maarten land and keep it safe.