Acting PM concerned about hurricane ‘fake news’

Acting Prime Minister, Lenard Montoute, has expressed concern over the spread of misinformation and fake news relating to the passage of Hurricane Maria.

Montoute called on citizens to desist from engaging in such activities.

He told St Lucia Times that he is aware of the great temptation to be the bearer of news.

“But we have to recognise that not only are you jeopardising people’s safety by having them to go out there in response to false information, not only are you causing confusion, but you are complicating the situation,” he explained.

“That is why with every one of our advisories, every one of our news bulletins, we continued to advise residents to pay attention to official reports coming from the Met Services or from NEMO,” Montoute recalled.

He stated that the government recognises that there can be widespread abuse, especially of the social media, with the result that misinformation can be circulated.

Montoute said in order to minimise that possibility, people should get their information from the Met Services and NEMO.

The Acting Prime Minister explained that he had to make a ‘judgement call’ in urging persons to report to work for 10 am Tuesday, even though the all clear had not been given.

“Given the fact that we had already lost a day of business yesterday, I was doing my best to avoid another loss of commercial activities today. And so, given the information that I had and the anticipated all clear that would be given before 10 O’ clock this morning, I decided to announce as early as possible that we would have – though a delayed reopening, that we would have a reopening of businesses, government offices and commercial activity from 10 O’ clock this morning,” Montoute stated.

He said he recognised that there seemed to be some confusion given the fact that some persons were making reference to the Met Office Website, which had not given the all clear.

However the Acting Prime Minister told St Lucia Times that he made the call knowing full well in advance of the possibility of an all clear being given before 10 am.

Montoute said he requested that schools remain closed to facilitate an assessment of school properties to determine whether they are ready for a resumption of classes.

He said there were reports of rock slides in certain areas of the country that caused a blockage to at least one lane along the Barre De L’Isle.

The Acting Prime Minister also disclosed that there have been reports of landslides on the West Coast.

“These have all been cleared and in some of the secondary roads we had reports of fallen trees blocking the roads, but the residents themselves responded and began unblocking those roads – so all in all, we can say that we were spared the worst and that there is minimal damage,” Montoute said.

Nevertheless he observed that in terms of agriculture and this country’s heavy reliance on bananas, there would have been damage sustained by the banana industry as a result of high winds associated with Hurricane Maria.

Montoute revealed that the government has not yet received an assessment from the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Moving forward our immediate engagement is to  see how we can respond to the needs of our sister Island, Dominica, because we are getting reports that it is a very critical situation there,” he told St Lucia Times, adding that the government will be continuing the assessment of this country’s own needs.

 

14 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    September 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm Reply

    Well Mr Montoute..some people are too idle..very busy in spreading false info.

  2. True
    September 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm Reply

    So very true… ‘the great temptation to be the bearer of news.’ It’s a cancer in our culture.
    We want to be first to send the pic, video, link etc. For attention, comments and likes on Facebook. We’re the experts on everyone else’s business – but our own.

  3. Spiderman
    September 19, 2017 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Well said Spider.
    Keep doing the good work.

  4. Anonymous
    September 19, 2017 at 12:41 pm Reply

    Let me take this opportunity to thank the good Lord for watching over us as an island and we as humans .And to all Dominican our hearts goes out to you all . Hope you’ll get all the assistance you’ll need in Jesus name.

    1. Ali
      September 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm Reply

      Well said.

      1. Anonymous
        September 19, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        Amen and Amen….very well said

  5. Anonymous
    September 19, 2017 at 1:13 pm Reply

    Ya ppl wanna be like CNN ..wanna be first breaking news thats why i tell ppl not everything on fb is true … n some ppl no its not true but yet still they give it a like …why ..thats why we make lots of mistakes in our life we kno its wrong but ..yet still we do it …

  6. Anonymous
    September 19, 2017 at 1:17 pm Reply

    You should not take it on your own to give a go ahead when “all – clear” has not been given by the proper authorities, then you would be taking actions into your own hands.

  7. Anonymous
    September 19, 2017 at 1:58 pm Reply

    St Lucian give thanks and glory to the Almighty God for sparing St Lucia from this deadly hurricane. What’s happening in the earth is to warn mankind to repent and to turn to the God of righteousness. He said He will come to judge the world in Righteousness. He is now giving us a chance to turn to Him with all our hearts. Almighty Father bless everyone.

  8. Anonymous
    September 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm Reply

    What fake reports the fake PM talking about? I have not heard of any is this a case of attention grabbing?

  9. Anonymous
    September 19, 2017 at 3:56 pm Reply

    There is this one story circulating about a captain Perry taking things to Dominica. I suspected was fake. Why didn’t that captain liaise with the red Cross
    And something about Saint Lucia being the first to send help to Dominica. Is it relevant who sent help when? I received this five times in five minutes. It turned out to be bogus. Why are people doing these things. Is that how we really want to help. People stop this, it is not good.

  10. Anonymous
    September 19, 2017 at 4:22 pm Reply

    AGAIN. WHERE IS THE PM?

    1. Anonymous
      September 19, 2017 at 7:52 pm Reply

      He is on another vocation

  11. Anonymous
    September 19, 2017 at 4:39 pm Reply

    Get ready for Lee and Nate

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