The National Office of Disaster Services’ tests of the early warning system ahead of weather that was expected to minimally impact Antigua was successful.
Director of NODS, Philmore Mullin said while the early warning system was not specifically pegged to Thursday’s weather, the test was effective.
He added that it would be a couple more weeks before the system is completely up and running.
“The system has been installed, it has been tested, and we are now going through the administrative procedures of preparing the messages that need to go in the system …. It is an ongoing process, we are not aiming for this hurricane or any specific hurricane,” Mullin said.
Ahead of Thursday’s rainy and windy conditions, telecommunication companies were updating their subscribers with weather updates.
Mullin said this was not part of the early warning system, and the companies have agreed, in principle to send out messages on behalf of NODS in the absence of the early warning system.
“We have been utilising them to do that, however, the cap-based system will allow us to send messages directly without a third party. The system also has the capacity to utilise the telephone providers if they so desire to partner. We do prefer if they partner with us,” he said.
The “hazard early warning system” will help authorities here detect early signs of flooding, tsunami and other natural disasters to which Antigua and Barbuda is prone.
The early warning system will also involve the establishment of a multi-hazard information centre for forecasting and early warning, which combines information derived from multiple ground and satellite sources, and provides reliable information on upcoming extreme weather events and their potential impact on the island.