Trinidad & Tobago in path­way if Tropical Storm Kirk be­comes stronger

This photo released by the National Hurricane Centre shows the projected pathway of Tropical Storm Kirk should it gain momentum and become stronger over the next couple days. T&T is in the danger zone should that occur.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) Pre­pare—and pray.

That’s the word from Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Kaz­im Ho­sein and munci­pal au­thor­i­ties yes­ter­day as Trop­i­cal Storm Kirk swept across the At­lantic, with T&T and neigh­bour­ing Wind­ward is­lands with­in the path of its ex­tend­ed cone—so far.

The US Na­tion­al Hur­ri­cane Cen­tre (NHC) dubbed the storm Kirk af­ter it de­vel­oped last Sat­ur­day at the re­cent peak of the 2018 hur­ri­cane sea­son.

Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein

Kirk, which de­vel­oped at a very souther­ly lat­i­tude, was mov­ing west of Cabo Verde is­land pack­ing winds of 40 miles (65 km) per hour.

NHC charts most of yes­ter­day showed Kirk’s ear­ly for­ma­tion in lat­i­tude line with T&T. Its pro­ject­ed route showed it con­tin­u­ing with a small shift north­ward as it nears T&T – but with T&T and the most souther­ly Caribbean is­lands still in the path of its ex­tend­ed cone.

NHC’s 5 pm bul­letin yes­ter­day es­ti­mat­ed T&T and the Wind­wards may get winds by Thurs­day morn­ing. Oth­er for­cast­ers hope it will run in­to wind shear and dis­in­te­grate.

Yes­ter­day, T&T Me­tero­log­i­cal Ser­vices’ se­nior du­ty of­fi­cer said the de­part­ment had been get­ting calls all day from wor­ried peo­ple. He not­ed the storm had formed at a very low souther­ly lat­i­tude like Brett (2017) and Isidore (1990)

“When it forms so far south we do have to be watch­ful. Brett formed at a low­er south lev­el than Kirk and that passed south of T&T. Isidore lost steam in the At­lantic,” the du­ty of­fi­cer said.

He said Kirk, up to 6 pm yes­ter­day, was a “min­i­mal” storm.

“We ex­pect it’ll in­ten­si­fy over the next two days but weak­en as it ap­proach­es the Wind­ward chain. When it reach­es about 1200-1500 km east of T&T it may take a more west­north west­er­ly track to the north­ern Wind­wards; prob­a­bly around Tues­day or Wednes­day.”

He said T&T wasn’t un­der a trop­i­cal storm watch/warn­ing, “but we’re mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion.”

The Wind­wards com­prise Do­mini­ca, Mar­tinique, St Lu­cia, St Vin­cent and the grenadines, Grena­da and T& .

Oth­er is­lands are al­so mon­i­tor­ing the storm close­ly.

Ac­cuWeath­er ex­pert se­nior me­te­o­rol­o­gist Dan Kot­t­lows­ki, in St Lu­cia me­dia, said Kirk could threat­en parts of the Wind­wards by Thurs­day or Fri­day “with strong per­haps dam­ag­ing winds and heavy rain­fall.”

Ac­tion plan 100 hours be­fore storm

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Kaz­im Ho­sein said he was in­formed of Trop­i­cal Storm Kirk’s de­vel­op­ment by 9 pm on Sat­ur­day.

He said the Min­istry and 14 mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions are close­ly mon­i­tor­ing Kirk’s path, since T&T cur­rent­ly falls with­in the storm’s fore­cast­ed cone. Ho­sein said the sit­u­a­tion prompt­ed cor­po­ra­tions’ Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Units (DMUs) to be­gin prepa­ra­tions in the event Kirk reach­es lo­cal shores lat­er this week.

“I saw pic­tures of the storm’s path. You can’t take any­thing light­ly. We’re mon­i­tor­ing it but peo­ple should take all nec­es­sary pre­cau­tion,” Ho­sein said.

“You can’t just say ‘God is Tri­ni’ and sit back. It’s all about be­ing pre­pared. We may not be af­fect­ed by this storm but we must do what we can to safe­guard loved ones and homes. You know I be­lieve in prayer, so what­ev­er re­li­gion, seek­ing God’s help to avert any dis­as­ter is al­so good.”

He added: “I pray it los­es steam or veers away from the is­land chain and we’re not af­fect­ed. But the DMU’s and min­istry are get­ting or­gan­ised just in case.”

Ho­sein’s min­istry yes­ter­day is­sued cor­po­ra­tions with a Time Phase Plan de­tail­ing steps to be tak­en from 100 hours pri­or to the time a storm or hur­ri­cane makes land­fall. It cov­ers ac­tion, in­clud­ing emer­gency shel­ter as­sis­tance and oth­er re­lief to the post-storm pe­ri­od.

The min­istry en­cour­aged the pub­lic to take note of Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Hot­lines for emer­gency use, to keep mon­i­tor­ing the news to be in­formed of fur­ther de­vel­op­ments and to put to­geth­er emer­gency kits with re­serves of wa­ter and oth­er ne­ces­si­ties in case they’re need­ed. The min­istry al­so stressed the pub­lic should mon­i­tor of­fi­cial weath­er re­ports in com­ing days.

RE­GION­AL COR­PO­RA­TION HOT­LINES

Diego Mar­tin Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tio – 800-DM­RC (3672)

San Juan/Laven­tille Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-SLRC (7572)

Ari­ma Bor­ough Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-2ABC (2222)

Tu­na­puna/Pi­ar­co Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-TPRC (8272)

Port-of-Spain City Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-PSCC (7722)

San­gre Grande Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-SGRC (7472)

Ch­agua­nas Bor­ough Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-DCBC (3222)

Cou­va/Tabaquite/Tal­paro Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-CTTC (2882)

Ma­yaro/Rio Claro Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-4MRC (4672)

Princes Town Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-PTRC (7872)

Point Fortin Bor­ough Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-PF­BC (7322)

San Fer­nan­do City Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-SC­DU (7238)

Pe­nal/Debe Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-PDRC (7372)

Siparia Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion – 800-4SRC (4772)

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