Hurricane Dorian hitting British and US Virgin Islands; heading to Puerto Rico
Dorian, which passed the Eastern Caribbean earlier this week as a Tropical Storm was Wednesday upgraded to a hurricane near the British and US Virgin Islands.
Forecasters on Wednesday afternoon placed it at latitude 18.3 North, longitude 65.0 West or directly over St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. It is expected to impact the British and US Virgin Islands this afternoon and then move over open waters east of the south-eastern Bahamas. A hurricane watch has been issued for Puerto Rico.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. Dorian is expected to continue strengthening over the next few days.
(See Message from Premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI)
Statement by Premier Fahie On Tropical Storm Dorian
Good day and God’s richest blessings to all of you and your families.
You would have learned from His Excellency the Governor in a statement this morning that after our consultation, the National Emergency Operating Centre w (NEOC) as activated.
We are now under a hurricane warning and a curfew will be put in place beginning at 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. tomorrow. This means that only emergency responders and those providing essential services would be permitted on the road at this time and I pray that God continues to keep them safe as they keep us safe. We ask for the public’s full cooperation during this time.
We have been advised that around 2:00 p.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to pass the Virgin Islands about 60 miles to the south. The DDM has indicated that rain bands would be affecting us throughout the morning and by midday we can see more rain with intensification occurring as the north east quadrant moves into our area.
As Government Offices are closed, I join with the Governor to encourage the business community and residents to remain off the roads for your own safety. If you are going to make any final preparations at this time, please exercise caution and be safe.
I wish to thank the team at the NEOC for keeping us updated, and I thank the Government ministries and departments and emergency responders for doing their part to ensure our Territory’s state of readiness as the storm passes by.
Let us continue to give praise and thanks to God from whom all of our blessings flow. I have been on my knees this morning praying and thanking God for his continued blessings and favour on our islands. I know that He will see us and carry us through this storm safe, for I am a firm believer that nothing is too big for our creator to handle.
May God continue to bless these beautiful British Virgin Islands.
— with Andrew A. Fahie.