Officials of The National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) met in response to a fire which occurred at the Fond Cole landfill on Friday and fire officials say they continue to investigate the cause.
The fire, which occurred at about 12.50 pm, produced a large amount of smoke and fumes into the surrounding area, including the Woodbridge Bay port, causing a cruise ship which was berthed there, to hasten its departure from the island.
Chief Fire Officer Josiah Dupuis said at the time that the fire department responded with all available assets “to a fire that we are very concerned about because of the nature of what is burning.”
The Fire and Ambulance Services Division said in a release issued late Friday evening, that a National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) Sub-committee meeting chaired by the Minister for Justice Immigration and National Security, Rayburn Blackmoore, was convened “to assess the situation and to determine the course of action to ensure the safety of the public and residents in the immediate environs.”
The release adds that the “various response agencies were alerted and (they) responded” but does not provide details of the course of action which may have been discussed at the meeting.
The Ministry of Health had earlier issued an advisory asking people with respiratory conditions to stay away from the area of the landfill in order to avoid inhaling the smoke fumes. Asthmatics affected by inhalation of the smoke, were advised to use their prescribed inhalers and if the symptoms worsened, to report to the Princess Margaret Hospital for an assessment and further medical attention.
The ministry of health advisory also asked those suffering from other respiratory illnesses “with worsening symptoms as a result of the smoke fumes” to report immediately to the Accident and Emergency Department at the Princess, Margaret Hospital.
Members of the public with “no business there,” have been asked to stay away from the landfill and residents in the immediate vicinity have been told to keep monitoring the media for more information.
The Fire Department says it “will continue to monitor and manage the situation” while an investigation into the cause of the fire continues.