PHILIPSBURG:--- The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated on Monday by Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin with respect to Hurricane Isaac.
Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin chaired the EOC meeting and the following decisions were taken as precautionary measures for public safety and security.
A decision to close schools will be made during an EOC meeting on Wednesday. This decision will be based on the Wednesday forecast track of Hurricane Isaac.
The Prime Minister has officially requested military assistance.
Emergency Support Function (ESF-1) NV GEBE, will interrupt water service to the Point Blanche and Pelican residential areas five hours before the passing of Hurricane Isaac.
ESF-2 Telecommunications & Post: All telecommunication companies have implemented their disaster preparedness plans which includes making sure that all generators at cell sites throughout the country are full of fuel.
ESF-3 Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment & Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI): the public is advised that final pick-up for all garbage will be 12.00PM on Wednesday, September 12.
ESF-5 Police: A curfew is expected to be issued on Thursday, September 13 based on the forecast track of Hurricane Isaac at that time. Additional information will be forthcoming with respect to the curfew.
ESF-7 Ministry Public Health, Social Development & Labour (Ministry VSA): three shelters will be opened in connection with the passing of Hurricane Isaac. These are: Dutch Quarter Community Center, the Cole Bay Christian Fellowship Church, and the Milton Peters College.
These shelters will be able to accommodate up to a total of 175-200 people. The shelters will be opened on Wednesday, September 12 at 5.00PM. The shelters will be open for a period of 72 hours after the passing of Hurricane Isaac.
Shelters should be used as a last resort. Individuals should first seek shelter with family or friends if they need to do so. If going to stay at a shelter, walk with a ‘go-bag’ that has personal items.
Persons staying in a shelter will be responsible for their own personal affects. Government is not liable for lost, stolen or broken personal belongings.
ESF-10 Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT): all critical infrastructure facilities (eg. Seaport, Airport, Business Sector) are monitoring the progress of Hurricane Isaac and a decision with respect to the closure of businesses will be made on Wednesday during an EOC meeting.
On Monday afternoon, Hurricane Isaac was located over 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) anticipates wind speeds of 25 miles per hour on Wednesday night increasing to 45 miles per hour during Thursday with gusts up to 65 miles per hour. Forecast rainfall at this time during the passing is two inches.
Already on Saturday, a meeting was held under the umbrella of the EOC with respect to the approaching weather system where the ESFs provided an overview of current state of preparedness in connection with the hurricane season.
Residents of Sint Maarten are requested to closely monitor the progress of this hurricane.
The EOC request residents to use the time now to review their disaster supply kit and hurricane preparations.
The MDS along with the EOC will keep the community of Sint Maarten informed with respect to the approach of the weather system to the Lesser Antilles via the Government Radio station 107.9 FM.