Curfew extended in BVI as Governor denounces criminal behaviour
Curfew has been extended in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) as they try to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Irma.
On Sunday, Governor Augustus Jaspert, addressing citizens on BVI Radio for the first time since the passage of Hurricane Irma, announced that the curfew will run from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. every day until further notice.
Jaspert said the curfew is necessary to help clear the streets.
Following the passage of Hurricane Irma last week, there were reports of looting in the BVI.
The British Overseas Territory suffered extensive damages with many buildings destroyed.
According to the CDEMA post-impact report issued on Sunday night, the BVI has recorded four deaths.
There is significant damage to the electricity and water systems and there are limited water and food supplies, while the hospital has been impacted due to damaged utility lines. The National Emergency Organisation Centre (NEOC) was destroyed, the airport tower was compromised and a State of Emergency has been declared.
Fayola Wilson-Creque, a Trinidadian living in Tortola, told Loop the island looks like a bomb was dropped on it.
She said in the absence of any communication, people were wandering the streets with suitcases and children. Food and water were said to be in short supply.
In denouncing the violence, Jaspert warned those intent on criminal acts will face the full brunt of the law and can expect the strongest punishment.
He said the British Military, which landed on the island on Saturday, will be working with the police to enforce law and order.
In his address, Jaspert assured that response and relief operations have been implemented through the National Emergency Operations Centre.
He said international assistance has been requested and received from the United Kingdom, international and regional partners and private and voluntary organisations.
“We have mobilised teams working on aggressive road clearing and debris management, shelters have been set up to accommodate those who have been displaced. Communities have been supporting each other and are urged to continue to do so and remain resilient,” he said.
Jaspert said ports including the airport are opening but priority will be given to military and technical expertise.
British Prime Minister Teresa May announced a £32 million relief fund to support the humanitarian effort and said the UK was the first country to arrive on the scene.
The UK is also doubling all public donations made to the British Red Cross appeal.
Arrangements have been made to evacuate people from the islands.
For international departures from the BVI, the ferry to St. Thomas will be leaving at 10:30 am from the Tender Dock at the Cruise Pier from Monday. Domestic departures will leave from the Road Town Jetty at 10:30 a.m. for persons who need to return to Virgin Gorda and Anegada.
For those wanting to get out or offer a way out there is a website which they can register to aid in their quest. Visit the site HERE.