(NLTimes)—Wednesday afternoon, the Aruba Meteorological Department (DMA) and Aruba Disaster Management Bureau (BRA) held a press conference to inform the public about the latest updates regarding Tropical Storm Bret, which is expected to enter the Caribbean region soon.
Rodney Tromp, a meteorologist from DMA, explained that the Caribbean area is quite active for storms, and Tropical Storm Bret is the first system that can be seen approaching the Caribbean.
The latest update as of 2 p.m. yesterday regarding Tropical Storm Bret indicates that Aruba can expect it to pass on Saturday morning around 8 a.m., approximately 220 to 240 kilometers north of Aruba. Rough seas and moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms are expected.
Tromp emphasized that it is still uncertain how much rain or wind the storm will bring because it is still quite far away. Once it gets closer to the radar area in Curacao, it can be monitored more accurately, and the public can be informed better through the DMA and BRA Facebook pages. In case it becomes a threat to Aruba, alerts will be issued through the same platform.
He mentioned that the northern part of Aruba will likely experience rough seas, and the hotel areas along the coast might also see some increased wave activity, although not as severe as the northern side. There is already an advisory in place for mariners to exercise caution, especially on Saturday when the storm passes through the Caribbean.
Regarding boat owners, Tromp stated that there is currently no need to remove boats from the water. However, DMA will continue to monitor the storm, and if there is a change in the situation that requires an alert, it will be done in a timely manner so that boat owners can take necessary precautions.
Rino Hermans, the director of BRA, explained that when a system forms in the Atlantic, they start monitoring it. If there is no imminent risk for Aruba, they wait until the system gets closer and enters the Caribbean, as is the case with Tropical Storm Bret. He emphasized that within the next 24 hours, Aruba may experience the effects of a tropical system entering the region with no significant risk to the island.
Hermans further explained that BRA and DMA work together to provide information from a single source to the public. “We have enough experience with storms that pass north of Aruba, and we found it appropriate to provide information today to prevent panic in the community caused by multiple sources of information that are not well interpreted,” he said.
“As official government institutions, we need to be responsible when putting the public on alert, and so far, we have not found it necessary to do so. However, it is necessary to inform the community of the data and knowledge we have locally,” he added.
Saturday is the celebration of Dera Gay, and there are various events and activities taking place around Aruba. Hermans indicated that based on the current data and knowledge from BRA and the Meteorological Department, they do not see the need to cancel the activities.
Both the Meteorological Department and BRA will continue to monitor the situation. They recommend that the public follow both departments on their Facebook pages for information, and if necessary, they will issue alerts to the public until the system passes completely, ensuring proper communication.
After Bret, there is Tropical Depression Number 4, but it is not entering the Caribbean. It remains in the Atlantic and poses no threat to Aruba.