Saturday 17 August, 2019

Water problems may hit St Lucia over next three months

Venantius Descarte

Venantius Descarte

The availability of water may become an issue this month, next month and the month after as Saint Lucia moves into what is popularly known as the dry season, according to the Director of Meteorological Services, Venantius Descarte.

“We are transitioning from the wet season to the dry season and the forecast is showing there will be below normal rainfall so water availability may become an issue,” Descarte said.

The country has two weather seasons, the wet season, also known as the hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends November 30 and the dry season which begins December 1 and ends May 31.

Descarte also alerted Saint Lucians to another weather occurrence during that three-month time frame, noting that the temperature outlook looks to be above normal which, he said, should be of concern.

The Director of Met Services also called on St Lucians to learn from the lessons that this year’s hurricane season taught, so as to prepare themselves for the next season.

He spoke of the early warning calls of approaching weather systems and how he would like St Lucians to be attentive to those calls and be less complacent when such calls are made.

“What we realized over the past years is that anytime there is a big impact weather event, we have interruptions in communication, notably the internet would always go down,” he said.

Descarte wants to see his department equipped with a telecommunication system that could withstand a big weather event such as a hurricane.

Another lesson he believes government should learn from past hurricane systems is to always have a technician on hand during the passage of storms as wind instruments and other equipment could get damaged during the course of the weather event.

He gave an example of a wind instrument near the runway at the George F.L. Charles Airport getting damaged during the passage of a storm during the just concluded wet season. Fortunately, a technician was on hand to repair the damaged equipment during the course of the storm.

Saint Lucia did not entirely escape this year’s hurricane season. Tropical Storm Kirk hit the country directly during the hours of September 27 & 28. It was predominantly a wind event causing damage of about 80 per cent to the agricultural sector according to preliminary reports from that sector.

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