Tropical Storm Gonzalo

PROJECTED PATH: This graphic from shows the path of Tropical Storm Gonzalo which is projected to pass to the north of Trinidad and Tobago this weekend.

TOBAGO is under a tropical storm threat.

This means the sister island could experience sustained winds of at least 63 kilometres per hour in 48 hours, the T&T Meteorological Service said yesterday evening.

In an update, the Met Service said at 5 p.m. yesterday, Tropical Storm Gonzalo was located near latitude 9.7 N, longitude 48.8 W or about 1305 km east of the Southern Windwards.

Gonzalo continues to move westward near 20 km/h but a west-north-westward motion is expected through the weekend.

On the current forecast track, the centre of Gonzalo will approach the southern Windwards tonight and move across the Windward islands tomorrow.

Gonzalo is a very small tropical storm with tropical storm-force winds extending outward up to only 35km from the centre.

“Latest analyses suggest that Trinidad will not be directly impacted by Gonzalo, however heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected as the system passes north of the island,” the Met Service said.

An emergency meeting with members of the Tobago Disaster Management Committee (TDMC) chaired by Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis was held yesterday at the Tobago Emergency Operations Centre in Bacolet to discuss preparations for Gonzalo.

“Present at the meeting were officials of the Ministry of National Security, Defence Force, Coast Guard, Fire Service, discussing the response,” Tobago Emergency Management Agency director Allan Stewart said.

He said shelters will be activated today with the necessary social distancing and Covid-19 protocols.

“By just after midday the shelter listing will be available to members of the public,” Stewart said.

A number of steps were taken following the emergency meeting.

“The Tobago Emergency Operations Centre (TEOC) will be activated today at 6 p.m. Shelters to be opened during the storm period will be identified, and the respective shelter managers notified. Shelters will be activated as the need arises. Covid-19 restrictions will be in place at the TEOC and the Emergency Shelters,” a statement following the meeting said.

Speaking on the issue at the THA’s weekly media briefing on Wednesday, Chief Secretary Dennis said he continued to be in touch with TEMA and the island remains on alert.

The Inter-Island Ferry Service said captains of all vessels were monitoring the situation with the tropical storm and will announce by midday today if there will be any need for changes in scheduled sailings.

—reporting by

Elizabeth Williams


Vote for incumbent Princes Town MP Barry Padarath.

This was the call of former Opposition Senator Wade Mark yesterday, as he criticised the People’s National Movement (PNM) for raising an issue about Padarath’s nomination papers.

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) is hoping “good sense prevails” today and Government announces the closure of all primary schools to prevent further Covid-19 transmission.

The validity of Barry Padarath’s nomination will not stop Princes Town voters from casting a vote for the UNC stronghold on August 10.

This is according to a number of constituents who were interviewed by the Express yesterday in the face of the PNM’s intention to file legal action challenging Padarath’s eligibility to contest the Princes Town seat.

THERE was confusion at the Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Licensing Office yesterday when more than 60 people arrived but were not immediately allowed to enter because of changes to the appointment system and Covid-19 restrictions.

It caused a back-up of people, very few of whom were practising physical distancing, in front the entrance for several hours.

Joint Trade Union Movement leader Ancel Roget yesterday lashed out at newspaper editors, using the historically derogatory ‘N’ word for African house slaves to describe them.