After being placed on purple cyclone vigilance, the highest level, Guadeloupe was downgraded to gray vigilance level.
The prefect of Guadeloupe announced on Saturday shortly before 3:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. in Paris) the end of confinement in this French department of the Antilles, “in view of the trajectory of Hurricane Tammy which is leading it to move away” from the archipelago.
Placed for nearly 5.5 hours on purple cyclone alert, the highest level, Guadeloupe was downgraded to gray alert by regional prefect Xavier Lefort. This therefore means that the danger is diminishing.
“This phase puts an end to confinement and allows a resumption of traffic as well as economic activities,” indicates a press release from the prefecture, adding that “nevertheless, the conditions for returning to normal life must be done gradually.”
“If the danger is reduced, the phenomenon is not completely over,” state services still estimate. The prefect therefore decided to place the archipelago on orange alert for heavy rain and storms as well as for waves-submersion, and on yellow for violent winds.
winds of 130 km/h
According to Météo-France, the hurricane passing closest or over Guadeloupe during the day could include winds of 130 km/h, as well as heavy rain, with accumulations of 250 mm minimum, at the peak of the episode.
In such circumstances, the prefect called on the population to “confine themselves and respect all the recommendations of the authorities”. Economic activity in this Caribbean archipelago has been completely interrupted, and all travel is prohibited, after schools closed on Friday.
According to a Météo-France bulletin issued at 3 p.m., sustained rains have started to affect the archipelago, and the sea is already rough, with waves reaching up to five meters which cause surges on the east and south coasts of the islands. islands of Marie-Galante and La Désirade.
These large amounts of precipitation raise fears of flooding in a region already affected by torrential downpours during tropical storm Philippe at the beginning of October.
No island spared
On a personal level, many people spent their last hours preparing. Françoise, a 42-year-old teacher, loaded seven packs of six bottles of water into her cart. “At my house there is never any water in normal times, because of our poor network. But then if a cyclone arrives, I don’t expect to find water in the tap for at least a week, so I prefer to prepare,” she explained to AFP.
Friday evening, the water management union announced the closure of certain production plants upstream of the cyclone phenomenon. Martinique, another French department in the West Indies, is also affected. It has been placed on orange alert for flooding waves.
The “Northern Islands”, like Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, are not spared either. Saint-Barthélemy, in particular, fears that the center of the hurricane will pass in the immediate vicinity of its coasts on Saturday evening or during the following night.