The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), noting that November 30 marks the official end of the Atlantic hurricane season, has warned people against letting down their guard.
“Some people think it is a time to be relieved, but I want to indicate to persons that this is not the case,” NEMO Director, Velda Joseph told St Lucia Times.
Joseph asserted that anything can happen at any time.
“We are familiar with December during the Christmas Eve trough,” the NEMO Director stated.
Saint Lucia suffered massive damage to infrastructure when the Island was pummelled by torrential rains and strong winds generated by an unseasonal low-level trough system over a 24-hour period from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day 2013.
Recalling the ‘tremendous damage’ caused, Velda Joseph explained that devastating systems can impact Saint Lucia outside of the official hurricane season.
“We know that with climate change we can see those weather systems happening anytime, and so what is important is for us to be cognisant and ensure we do all in our power to make sure that we are prepared to deal with the impact of those systems,” she noted.
Joseph told St Lucia Times that this year witnessed very devastating systems going through the Caribbean region.
She recalled that it was an ‘extraordinary time’ for the region which was affected by hurricane Irma followed quickly by hurricanes Jose and Maria.
“We saw how quickly those systems developed into hurricanes. We saw terrible, terrible devastation in many of our Islands and so it is a time for us to sit down and reflect on what possibly the future holds as we discuss issues related to climate change.” the NEMO official observed.
She declared that it is important to prepare for a worst case scenario that is not limited to hurricanes, as there are other hazards that can impact the Island.