As Hurricane Irma takes aim at the Turks and Caicos Islands, tourism officials here are urging visitors to leave is they have the means to do so safely.
“Visitors unable to leave or opting to remain within the destination are urged to stay inside during the storm and pay attention to the public advisories issued by the Department of Disaster Manager and Emergencies,” they said in a statement.
“It is important to note that the Turks and Caicos Islands is an archipelago with more than 40 islands and cays. All hotels, resorts and villas throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands have activated their hurricane programmes and are taking all necessary precautions to protect visitors and residents, as safety remains the highest priority.”
Officials say immigration services will remain in place at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS) to ensure that flights are allowed to travel to and from the islands until Wednesday, September 6 at 6 p.m. when all airports throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands are expected to close.
Officials have also redirected all cruise lines away from Irma and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The last scheduled ferry service between the islands will depart North Caicos at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September.
A hurricane watch is now in effect for the southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. This includes the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Islands of Inagua, Acklins and Crooked Island, Mayaguana, Long Cay, Samana Cay and Ragged Island.