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PM Gonsalves defends NEMO

PM Gonsalves defends NEMO

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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has defended the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) against claims that they did not give the public enough time to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Tomas.{{more}}

Answering a question from a media representative during a press conference on Monday, November 1, 2010, Gonsalves stated that he was out of the country on Friday, but returned late Friday night and headed to the headquarters of NEMO.

Gonsalves, who added that he knew “bulletins have been going out”, stated that maybe the information was not taken in by the public.

He added that there are certain procedures to be taken during the countdown to a storm’s approach to a country. He added that information should be sent out at 72 hours, 48 hours, 24 hours and 12 hours before the storm’s arrival.

Gonsalves stated that at within the 12 hour point, on Saturday morning at around 6:45, he made a national broadcast, which was repeated at intervals during the day.

He added that although the broadcast was made, several persons said that he was making more of the situation than it actually was. He stated that persons may have felt that way, because signs of the strong hurricane winds and rains were not visible as yet. He further related that persons adhered to the warnings and went to community shelters only when the hurricane struck the island.

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