Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, delivering an update on Tropical Storm Elsa at the NEOC. (A. Reid/BGIS)

As Barbados continues to brace for impact from Tropical Storm Elsa, emphasis must now be on safety, the preservation of life and property.

Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, said the time for persons to safely get to shelters has now passed, and urged individuals to remain safe and seek shelter at a neighbour, if their property was compromised.

His comments came as he was giving an update on the weather system, as the National Emergency Operations Centre stood-up at the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) in the early hours of this morning.

In an updated statement, the Barbados Meteorological Services reported that Tropical Storm Elsa was becoming more organised, with maximum sustained winds of between 45 and 50 miles per hour, with the possibility of it reaching up to 60 miles per hour, as she moved closer to the island.

With this in mind, Mr. Abrahams urged persons to report damage to the DEM by calling 438-7575, so officials could start to compile the list of properties that they would need to respond to following the All Clear.

“As you become aware of information that is relevant to our management of the situation, or that we need to respond to immediately…please feed that information to us. It allows us to put things in place so the response can be a lot quicker and a lot more effective,” he said.

However, the Minister again stressed that safety must come first, and implored residents to be “as careful as you can”.

He encouraged persons to stay tuned for bulletins via the Barbados Government Information Service, the Public Affairs Department, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, and other trusted media partners.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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