Downed trees at Independence Square following Hurricane Irma in Septem 2017

PHOTO: Big trees uprooted at the Independence Square served as evidence of the storm’s strength for many residents (source: NEMASKN/Facebook)

By: Spokesman Newsroom

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (THURSDAY, 7TH SEPTEMBER, 2017) – Messy coastal areas, fallen trees, down powerlines, destroyed fences and minor house damages were some of the signs that category 5 hurricane Irma made landfall during the early hours of Wednesday 6th August, sparing the Federation its full impact consisting of winds over 180 miles per hour.

Notably, in the heart of the island capital of Basseterre, big trees uprooted in the historic Independence Square served as evidence of the storm’s strength for many residents.

Many residents continue to express relief that St.Kitts -Nevis escaped a direct hit from the storm which has ravaged nearby islands including Barbuda, St. Maarten, St. Barts and Anguilla resulting in major property damages and even deaths in some instances.

Although, the Federation was spared a full impact by the storm-described by some meteorologists as a ‘Monster’- during its passage, emergency evacuations were conducted in three communities on the island.

That piece of information was disclosed by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris in a national address made last night (Wednesday).

According to him, initial reports from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and the local health sector indicate that there has been no loss of life.

He went on to disclose that three emergency evacuations, however, were conducted by security forces in the areas of Molineux, Keys and Conaree.

“We are also aware that several residents sustained significant damage. Our latest report reveals that only six persons remain in our hurricane shelters,” Dr. Harris also reported.

He also highlighted that while it would be premature to place an assessment figure on the quantum of damage to property and infrastructure as a consequence of the passage of Hurricane Irma, NEMA’s Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis Committee has been deployed and the government awaits the findings.

As it relates to the sister isle of Nevis, Dr. Harris relayed post hurricane details.

“I am reliably informed by Senior Minister and Premier of Nevis, the Hon Vance Amory, that our sister island has emerged from Hurricane Irma without major damage. An assessment is being conducted on the coastal zones to evaluate the extent of any damage.”

Today, the island of St.Kitts saw some levels of normalcy as all civil servants were required to report for duty at normal times.

All government teachers were asked to report to their respective schools for a full day’s work while students were asked to remain at home until further notice.

Furthermore, commercial banks opened their doors to conduct business at 9:00 AM which came one hour later than the usual time.