Earlier today, the Emergency Measures Organisation met to get the latest update on Hurricane Earl. I am pleased to note that all our EMO partner agencies are ready and prepared should the need arise.

As of the noon update from the Bermuda Weather Service, Hurricane Earl continues to be a threat to Bermuda. Currently Bermuda is under a Tropical Storm Warning. Based on the latest forecast from the BWS, Hurricane Earl will be a category 3 storm as it passes southeast of Bermuda late Thursday night into Friday morning.

Its closest point of approach will be around 1 am Friday morning at around 101 nautical miles. As it relates to what Bermuda can expect to experience, over the course of late tomorrow afternoon into the earlier hours of Friday morning, the island will see deteriorating weather conditions, including rain and the onset of tropical storm force winds.

At this moment I can confirm that all public services remain operational. However, the EMO will continue to monitor the storm to determine if any further steps need to be taken.

At this stage, all Government Offices will be open tomorrow and services will be operating as normal. Public transportation is currently operating according to schedule, but may it be impacted tomorrow based on the weather conditions. Again, should there be any changes, the public will be updated accordingly. As you know, public schools have yet to resume, so we are grateful that our students will not be impacted.

L.F. Wade International Airport remains open per normal. Those who are travelling are encouraged to check with their respective airlines for any changes.

The Ministry of Transport has advised that the Royal Caribbean Mariner of Seas departed earlier today at 7.00 am instead of 3.00 pm. The Carnival Magic will depart at 6.00 pm today instead of tomorrow. And the Norwegian Getaway has cancelled her call which was scheduled for Friday. From a public safety standpoint, as we shared yesterday, our south shore beaches are seeing significant swells and rip currents.

These are very dangerous conditions for swimmers and mariners, and our lifeguards have been working tirelessly over the last day or so to aid swimmers. So, I’m urging those who decide to venture into the ocean on the south shore to please exercise caution and a bit of common sense. Finally, as a reminder, September and October are peak storm months for us. This last week we have been monitoring Danielle, Earl and another disturbance which is forming off the west coast of Africa. So, Bermuda, we must continue to exercise preparedness. Hurricane Earl is a timely reminder to check our emergency and storm supplies. Now is the time to replenish your provisions, if needed.

This includes non-perishable goods, batteries, water, and any relevant medical supplies. From a safety standpoint, if needed, residents should also make any minor home repairs and secure any outdoor furniture. And please, above all, check on those who are most vulnerable. Make sure they have the necessities they need to navigate this busy storm system.

These are the basic steps that have worked well in helping us successfully weather previous storms. The EMO Executive will meet again tomorrow morning to get the latest update regarding Hurricane Earl.

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