Hurricane Maria forces closure of public schools

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Government has issued an order for the closure of all public schools across Antigua and Barbuda as the Caribbean braces for the passage of Hurricane Maria which was upgraded from a tropical storm Sunday afternoon.
In an advisory issued late on Sunday, the Ministry of Education said all public educational institutions will be closed to students today.
However, all administrators, pedagogues and staff are expected to report to work and, as directed by each site’s most senior administrators, to make preparations for the possible arrival of Hurricane Maria.
The ministry said private schools should be contacted directly for information.
As of Sunday afternoon, Maria was about 140 miles (225 kilometres) east northeast of Barbados, according to the National Hurricane Center. It had strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, hurling winds of 75 mph, and is forecast to continue moving toward the Eastern Caribbean at 15 mph.
“Maria has strengthened to a hurricane and could be near major hurricane intensity as it affects portions of the Leeward Islands over the next few days, bringing dangerous wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards,”the hurricane centre said.
Hurricane Maria is expected to keep strenghening as it heads toward the Caribbean.
Maria is one of three storms churning in the Atlantic Ocean, but it poses the most danger to the hurricane-battered Caribbean.
As a result of the hurricane, a tropical storm warning has been issued for Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St Eustatius and St Lucia.
Meantime, the head of the TOR Memorial School has annouunced the closure of the school for today, Monday.
However, teachers and other staff are asked to report for duties at 8:00 a.m. to secure the property.

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