Efforts begin to replenish hurricane supplies as 2021 season begins

Acting Executive Director of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Agency (CDEMA), Elizabeth Riley (file photo)
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By Kadeem Joseph

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The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Agency (CDEMA) is committing to replenishing critical supplies that were depleted from warehouses in Antigua and Barbuda and other countries to assist St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) during recent volcanic eruptions.

The assurance comes with the official start of the hurricane season, which was marked yesterday, June 1.

Acting Executive Director of CDEMA, Elizabeth Riley, explained that while specific items were taken from sub-regional hubs, including Antigua and Barbuda, the body’s “team has already started the process of working towards the restocking of those critical items”.

Among the items supplied to volcano-hit St Vincent were cots, generators and lighting.

“We are working assiduously to have those items restocked ahead of the hurricane season,” she added.

Riley said, however, that a wide range of the general supplies, including water and food, were donated by members of the public and private sector agencies, therefore requests for these items would not have depleted stocks in the various member states.

She says it has become essential to restock for the hurricane season.

Meteorologists are still predicting that the 2021 season will be “above average”, with Deputy Director of Meteorology at the Antigua and Barbuda Met Office Lorne Salmon adding that despite this projection, residents should not experience the same level of activity as seen in 2020.

Last year, meteorologists had to resort to the Greek alphabet to name storms after the list of 21 names was exhausted.

Salmon said that this year, there should be 13 to 20 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes, three to five of which could develop into major hurricanes at category three strength, or higher.

The named storms for 2021 are Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.

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