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'Communication system needs immediate overhauling' - Sixth District resident

- said the communication system plays a 'vital' role for the territory
Sixth district resident expressed concerns about the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) communication system and stated that it should be a priority since the hurricanes of September 2017. Photo: VINO
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance stated during the sixth district consultation meeting that his government approved the purchase of a new communication system for the Department of Disaster Management (DDM). Photo: VINO
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance stated during the sixth district consultation meeting that his government approved the purchase of a new communication system for the Department of Disaster Management (DDM). Photo: VINO
Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordinating Committee (DRCC), Mr Brodrick Penn added that the text messaging system is having some problems and they are being fixed. Photo: VINO
Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordinating Committee (DRCC), Mr Brodrick Penn added that the text messaging system is having some problems and they are being fixed. Photo: VINO
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) was not able to use the public sirens, part of their National Emergency Broadcast System, to notify the people about a tsunami alert recently because they were destroyed by the powerful winds of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017. Photo: DDM
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) was not able to use the public sirens, part of their National Emergency Broadcast System, to notify the people about a tsunami alert recently because they were destroyed by the powerful winds of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017. Photo: DDM
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI - During the consultation meeting for the Recovery and Development Plan held on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at the Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies (VISTS) in Baughers Bay, Tortola, a concerned resident expressed that the telecommunication system in the Virgin Islands should be addressed immediately.

"I think our communication system needs immediate overhauling. There was a tsunami and I didn't see anything on my phone and nothing was on the local news sites," while noting that it was on the international news site that she read the information.

It was on January 9, 2018 that a Tsunami advisory was issued for the Virgin Islands (VI) by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the coast of Honduras.

However, due to the damages that the warning systems sustained following the hurricanes of September 2017, no warning was sent out via the sirens of a tsunami advisory.

The Sixth District resident continued, "It was way into the day before I saw something local," emphasising that it needs to be addressed urgently as it plays a "vital" role for the territory moving forward.

Many residents were very concerned when there was no form of warning about the Tsunami until in the evening the next day via the local news sites. Some resident expressed to our newsroom that their would have been many deaths if the tsunami actually struck the Virgin Islands.

This news site had published a story on the earthquake and brief tsunami advisory for the Virgin Islands at 6:25 A.M. on January 10, 2018.

Speaking with our newsroom, one resident said, "I know the hurricanes damaged the system but they should have been a priority in order to get them fixed because we basically depend on DDM to somewhat protect us in some sense."

"It was very alarming to know that a Tsunami could have hit us and there was no type of warning. Not even the usual text messages from Digicel and the rest. We need to do better," said another resident.

Approval for the purchase of a new system

In response, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, commented that the warning system was damaged severely by the hurricanes but added that his government approved the purchase of a new system for DDM.

It is our newsroom's understanding; however, it was only after much pressure from the public and the intervention of Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert aka 'Gus' that the Cabinet of Premier Smith approved the expenditure of four hundred and forty two thousand dollars ($442,000), to re-establish the National Early Warning System and restore the DDM Headquarters.

This was a story reported by this news site on January 18, 2018.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordinating Committee (DRCC), Mr Brodrick Penn explained that the text messaging system is also experiencing some issues and it is being currently rectified.

See link to related articles:

http://www.virginislandsnewsonline.com/en/news/tsunami-advisory-briefly-issued-for-vi-after-strong-honduras-quake

http://www.virginislandsnewsonline.com/en/news/ddm-under-fire-for-no-sirens-warning-system-during-tsunami-alert

8 Responses to “'Communication system needs immediate overhauling' - Sixth District resident”

  • wize up (08/02/2018, 18:01) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    some service providers can simply waltz into the territory and do as they please at the expense of residents: drop calls, poor internet service and the works
  • See (08/02/2018, 21:17) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Got a great idea for a communication upgrade. Cut the bottom off of a coffee can and go to your window which Irma blew away. Put the can to your mouth and yell to your neighbor. There.... upgraded communication
  • Marie (08/02/2018, 21:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    All I know is they better make the tsunami system a number one priority. Too many people live on beach line properties and the death toll would be in great numbers, and the government couldn’t tell our families crap about why it hasn’t been fixed. I CANNOT hear the system when it was working. They put them in areas where people are further away from the water, which makes no sense at all. Hell, you can come put one in my yard and I would alert everyone I can reach, to get out! This dragging feet is unacceptable since our lives are at stake.
  • voter (09/02/2018, 07:07) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Pure talk nothing will change
  • Hmm (09/02/2018, 09:49) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Tsunami System should have been a priority rather than the silly hairdressers. Some people or rather Government for that matter; priorities are out of wack. I suppose some would have rather be elegantly groomed in a casket!
    • @hmm. Another Disaster (09/02/2018, 11:30) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      Rasta Fari warned me a few nights ago in my sleep to be prepared for a major flood. Much bigger than the one in August and to set my eyes on higher grounds...Jah Lives!!!
  • Too Slow. (09/02/2018, 11:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We all. They all know its very poor and very slow. These Ministers Just talk, talk, talk. Better internet attract more international businesses. . Nothing New. We all know that..
  • NezRez (09/02/2018, 17:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    They need a tsunami meeting in the 8th district ASAP. We need protection and be able to hear the warnings...Now,


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