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NEMO Secretariat Issues Alert of Landslide Dangers


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Updates to Hurricane Frances

Weather Information Service Number

(758) 454-3452

Contact: NEMO

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - The NEMO Secretariat today is alerting all residents and the Emergency Services to the increased potential for landslides due to anticipated heavy rainfall from an approaching Tropical System.

The slope of the land, the type of geology, ground saturation, and rainfall intensity and duration all play major roles in triggering landslides.

 

There has been heavy rain recently and soil conditions in many areas face a significant risk that the predicted heavy rainfall could trigger landslides. Residents of landslide-prone areas should be aware of the warning signs and be prepared to move quickly.

We have had landslide disasters in Saint Lucia where lives have been lost. We need to be vigilant.  Landslides are powerful. People living in these areas should be aware of the danger during severe weather and be ready to act if the situation warrants.

Advice for residents in affected areas:

Before the rains:

  1. Become familiar with the land around you. Learn whether landslides have occurred in your area. Slopes where landslides have occurred in the past are likely to experience them in the future.

  2. Watch the patterns of storm-water drainage on slopes near your home, and note especially the places where runoff water converges, increasing flow over soil-covered slopes. Watch the hillsides around your home for any signs of land movement, such as small landslides or debris flows or progressively tilting trees.

  3. Contact your District Disaster Committee to learn about the emergency-response and evacuation plans for
    your area and develop your own emergency plans for your family and business.

During the rains:

  1. Stay alert and stay awake. Many landslide fatalities occur when people are sleeping. Listen to a radio for warnings of intense rainfall. Be aware that intense short bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous, especially after longer periods of heavy rainfall and damp weather.

  2. If you are in areas susceptible to landslides, consider leaving if it is safe to do so. Remember that driving during an intense storm can itself be hazardous.

  3. Listen for any unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together. A trickle of flowing or falling mud or debris may precede larger flows. If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and for a change from clear to muddy water.  Such changes may indicate landslide activity upstream, so be prepared to move quickly.  Don't delay.

  4. Be especially alert when driving. Embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides.  Watch the road for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flows.  Never attempt to drive across a flooded road.

 

FLOOD WATCH ISSUED FOR SAINT LUCIA


HEWANORRA METEOROLOGICAL OFFICE

Phone:     1 (758) 454-6550

Fax:         1 (758) 454-9705

Hotline:    1 (758) 454-3452
WEBSITE: http://www.slumet.gov.lc

26 OCTOBER 200512:30 PM

PRESS RELEASE


FLOOD WATCH ISSUED FOR SAINT LUCIA

A STRONG TROPICAL WAVE IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD CLOUDINESS, HEAVY SHOWERS AND GUSTY WINDS OVER SAINT LUCIA AND THE REST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES LATER TODAY
AND TOMORROW. HEAVY RAINFALL OVER THE PAST WEEK HAS SATURATED THE TOP SOIL, SO RESIDENTS IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING AND LANDSLIDES ARE ASKED TO TAKE ALL
NECESSARY PRECAUTION. LOCAL FISHERMEN AND OTHER SMALL CRAFT OPERATORS ARE ADVISED TO EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN VENTURING FAR FROM PORT TOMORROW.



ANDRE JOYEUX VENANTIUS DESCARTES
FORECASTER METEOROLOGIST.


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