Prime Minister Skerrit has said that a State of Emergency will be declared in Dominica tomorrow, Sunday July 8 and a curfew will also be imposed.
The prime minister made the announcement at a press conference this morning as preparations intensify for the possible arrival sometime between Sunday and Monday of weather system Beryl, now downgraded to a Tropical Storm.
The prime minister said more details regarding the implementation of these measures will be given later today.
With reference to the widespread looting that occurred after Hurricane Maria, Skerrit made it abundantly clear that lawlessness will not be tolerated.
“We will not tolerate lawlessness from any one in Dominica and the state will take proactive and preemptive measures to ensure that that which happened after Maria that there will not be even one incident of it, far more many incidents of it and as of tomorrow and I’m waiting to be advised in writing by the Chief of Police but there has been a decision of the Cabinet based on oral advice from the Chief of Police that a State of Emergency shall be declared and will give you later today the precise time when it will come into effect tomorrow,” the prime mister stated.
Information from the Met Office is that the storm is likely to start affecting Dominica from about midday Sunday into Monday and it is expected that this information will be a factor in determining the precise timing of the state of emergency and curfew.
“Anybody, it could be a priest; it could be a pastor; it could be an employee of the state, if you have no business being out during the curfew hours, you will be picked up. You will be picked up,” Skerrit warned.
He said the appropriate authorities will advise the Chief of Police on those persons who will have business to be outside.
“But a man who lives in Portsmouth and in Vieille Case and who might be part of the emergency committee there, you may be allowed to be on the streets but within the confines of the boundaries of the village of Vieille Case. He can’t be in Pte. Michel and say that he is part of the disaster committee. I give you the assurance you’ll be picked up.”
Superintendent Richmond Valentine earlier issued a call via the media for all police officers to report for duty at 12.00 pm today.