ODPM: Stay indoors during passage of storm

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management is advising citizens to stay indoors.

The call came in the following bulletin issued at midnight.

"The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) is advising citizens to stay indoors as Tropical Storm Bret is creating adverse weather. The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Office (TTMET) has issued its latest Tropical Storm Advisory #2 at 9:00pm, which states Trinidad and Tobago can expect Tropical Storm conditions over the next 12 hours, and Grenada and its Dependencies can expect Tropical Storm conditions within 6 - 15 hours.

At 8:00 pm, Monday June 19, 2017, the centre of Tropical Storm Bret was located near 9.5ºN latitude 60.5ºW longitude or about 80 kilometres southeast of Trinidad. Tropical Storm Bret is moving to the west-northwest at about 40 km/hr and is expected to slow down over the next 48 hours.

On the forecast track, Bret is expected to move near or over Trinidad and the eastern coast of Venezuela tonight and early Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 km/hr with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 130 km from the center.

The ODPM has received reports of blown roof tops and fallen trees, due high wind events experienced in the San Fernando, Diego Martin and Princess Town areas. Additionally, power outages have been reported in Sori Village within the Tunapuna/Piarco region and other areas in the east along the Mount Hope to Valencia region. Persons impacted are advised that restoration activities will begin in the morning periods of Tuesday 20th June, 2017. 

The public is advised that no causalities or injuries have been reported at this time. Citizens are asked to remain vigilant, calm and pay attention to relevant advisories from authorised messages from the TTMET Office and the ODPM through local media houses’ updates. All shelters in Trinidad have been prepositioned for opening, whereas three (3) shelters have been opened in Tobago – Mason Hall, Mount Pleasant and Plymouth.

Consequently, we continue to underscore the following:-

During a Tropical Storm

·       Never ignore evacuation orders. Leave as soon as possible when told to do so

·       Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions.

·       Stay inside, away from windows, skylights and glass doors. If need be, stay inside a closet or a room without windows. You can also lie on the floor under a table or sturdy object.

·       Avoid using open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.

·       Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Do not walk through moving water. Even 6 inches (15 centimeters) of water can make you fall.

·       Do not go outside unless it is absolutely necessary. When the winds get very strong, you are in danger of being hit by flying objects.

·       Children should not be taken outside, since they may be in danger of being blown away.

·       If you are away from home, remain where you are until the storm has passed. Many people have lost their lives trying to go from one place to another.

·       If your glass windows have not been boarded up, place a large heavy object in front of the window to protect yourself and others from splintering glass.

·       Be calm! Your ability to act logically is important.

·       Listen to the radio, watch your television and check the official social media sites for information on what is happening e.g. ODPM and TTMET.

.We wish to underscore that Trinidad and Tobago is under Tropical Storm Bret threat at this time. Citizens are asked to resist following any social media posts or unauthorised messages which are not disseminated by the TTMET Office or published on the ODPM’s social media platforms.

The ODPM as the lead National Office for Disaster Management is coordinating with all relevant agencies, including the Regional Corporations’ Disaster Management Units, to prepare for the possibility of incoming weather within the next 12 hours, as we continue to closely monitor this situation through the TTMET Office. The ODPM reminds all citizens that should you be affected by this upcoming inclement weather, please contact our Customer Care Centre at 511 or Tobago Emergency Management Agency’s hotline number 211."