Mandatory evacuation order lifted for Barbuda

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Effective yesterday, the government cancelled the mandatory evacuation order that was issued for Barbuda earlier this month in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, allowing some residents the opportunity to return home.
Philmore Mullin, director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), made the announcement yesterday during an OBSERVER media interview.
Barbudans, whose homes received minor damages during the Category 5 storm, will be able to return within the coming weeks to pick up the pieces of their lives, he said.
Approximately 5 percent of the homes in Barbuda were spared the worst when the storm struck.
Mullin said, once the Central Board of Health (CBH) and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) are satisfied that the hurricane-ravaged island is once again sufficiently habitable on a limited scale, the all clear will be issued.
Both organisations are in the process of conducting a rigorous clean-up effort to rid the island of mosquitos and dead animals, clear debris, remove stagnant water.
“Already we have issued a generator to the supermarket for it to be up and running. We have provided a generator for someone who is preparing food for the workmen. We have significantly reduced the complications with moving men back and forth on a daily basis. We now have some temporary arrangements for them to stay over so they can have an earlier start to the day,” Mullin said.
He further explained that specific building materials would be shipped to the sister island later this week to assist persons whose homes were not badly damaged.
In the long-term, temporary housing will be provided for individuals whose homes were destroyed during Hurricane Irma.
The director also noted that several agencies would be working along with NODS to provide tents equipped with a few generators and construction tools.
A medical outpost was also established in Barbuda ahead of the clean-up campaign.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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