Dominica state of emergency and curfew as Tropical Storm Beryl nears

Image from the National Hurricane Center.

Dominica will face the passage of Tropical Storm Beryl under a state of emergency, the prime minister has announced.

The tiny island will also be under curfew from 4pm today until 4pm on Monday. The island was originally under a hurricane watch alert but that for downgraded.

In a statement ahead of the storm’s passage, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said: “”The Met Office has revealed in its latest update that the hurricane watch for Dominica has been discontinued.

“We are however still under a tropical storm warning and we need to take it seriously. Do not get complacent because there has been a downgrade. We have to remind ourselves of the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika in 2015.”

The Caribbean nation is also still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the country in September.

Skerrit visited some of what he described as “the country’s most vulnerable communities” to check preparations.

“Together with some members of cabinet, I met with the various shelter managers and volunteers to assess their level of preparedness in the event that the storm affects us tomorrow,” he said.

“I assured them that between now and then, I’ll be doing all that I can to ensure that each of the shelters has every resource it needs to overcome any foreseeable challenge.”

A tropical storm warning is also in effect for Guadeloupe, and there are tropical storm watches in place for six other islands.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre has said that “disorganised Beryl [is] moving faster towards the Lesser Antilles” but is “expected to degenerate into a tropical wave by this evening.”

At 2pm local time (6pm UTC) Tropical Storm Beryl was 120 miles (195km) east-southeast of Dominica.

It was moving west-northwest at around 26mph (42kmph) and bringing maximum sustained winds of 45mph (75kmph).

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