MP Gumbs Questions Status of SXM Meteorological Office

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Member of Parliament Melissa Gumbs of the Party for Progress faction submitted questions to Minister of TEATT Leo Lambriex on Monday, regarding the state of the St. Maarten Meteorological (MET) Office.

Gumbs questioned the Minister on the current state of affairs at the MET Office, noting that the building they used to operate out of was demolished some time ago. The MP asked the Minister to please share the current state of affairs with Parliament, as well as information on what location was currently being used by the MET Office staff and observers.

In her letter to the Minister, Gumbs asked if the current facilities being used by the MET office staff are permanent or temporary, considering that there was no mention of a new facility for meteorology in any of the recently announced projects for tendering by Government. With the discussion of climate change being heavily focused on the impact on Caribbean islands, the work of the meteorological office will be significant when it comes to gauging the potential damage-quotient of approaching weather systems.

“This week we see two waves barreling towards the Caribbean,” Gumbs stated. “In the event that one or both develop into storm systems that head our direction, the role the MET Office plays will be a very critical one. Many are unaware that weather observers continue their critical work as a storm or hurricane is passing. It’s important to know if their current facilities are secure enough to allow this type of work to happen.”