Issued: 8:00am - November 16, 1999
Hurricane Lenny Threatens the North Eastern Caribbean
AFTER WEAKENING FOR A SHORT PERIOD YESTERDAY, LENNY HAS RETURNED TO CATEGORY 2 HURRICANE STATUS AND POSES A POTENTIAL THREAT TO THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS. BASED ON THE FORECAST TRACK AND ITS FAIRLY CONSISTENT EASTWARD TRACK, OTHER ISLANDS IN THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN COULD ALSO COME UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF HURRICANE LENNY LATER TONIGHT AND TOMORROW.
At 8am Eastern Caribbean Time this morning Lenny was located near latitude 15.2 north, longitude 70.6 west or about 255 miles south south-west of Santo Domingo. Lenny continues to move towards the east near 17 mph with a gradual turn to the northeast expected in the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph with higher gusts. Some further strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours. A hurricane warning remains in effect for the British Virgin Islands. Hurricane Watches or Warnings may be necessary for portions of the northern Leeward Islands later today. All interests in this area should closely monitor the progress of Lenny.
In response to the threat from Lenny, the National Emergency Operations Centre in the BVI has indicated the following:
Key personnel including the Chairman of the National Emergency Advisory Council (NEAC), Emergency Services, Hotels, Airlines and Charter Boat Companies have all been briefed on the situation.
The National Disaster Plan was activated
at 1400hrs on November 15, 1999 with the NEOC being activated this morning
The Airlines and Hotels are facilitating evacuation of visitors and guests in the BVI.
All Zone Coordinators have been placed on alert.
At the Regional Level, the Coordinating Unit in conjunction with the UNDP has initiated a meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Donors Group for 1600hrs this afternoon to examine the various scenarios Lenny poses and to discuss preparedness and response actions. The RSS has been contacted and advised to place the CDRU on standby.
National Disaster Coordinators in St. Kitts/Nevis and Antigua have been advised to monitor the progress of Lenny closely and commence the dissemination of public information. A brief discussion was also initiated with the Director of the Meteorological Office in Antigua/Barbuda regarding the threat to the northeastern Caribbean.
The Regional Response Mechanism is hereby placed on standby with immediate effect. All members are advised to act accordingly.
The 24hr contact number for the Coordinating Unit is (246) 436 9651.
The CDERA Coordinating Unit will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary.
CARIBBEAN DISASTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE
The Garrison, St. Micheal
TEL: (246) 436-9651
FAX: (246) 437-7649
Copyright =A9 1999 CDERA