Holiday flights to Dutch Caribbean continue as storm moves further west
Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire escaped the tropical storm Bonnie, which never quite turned into a storm. Late on Wednesday afternoon, local time, the weather system moved further west to the Venezuelan coast, causing it to lose momentum, NOS reports.
This also means that TUI and KLM can fly to the islands again. The airlines chose to cancel or divert their flights on Wednesday as a precaution. A TUI flight already on its way had to diver to the Dominican Republic. Due to mandatory rest periods, the last return flight on Thursday is not expected in Amsterdam until Saturday morning, according to the broadcaster.
The impending storm caused some chaotic situations in Curacao on Wednesday when the government moved up the curfew from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m. Everyone had to rush home after just going to work, causing a traffic mess. The Prime Ministers of Curacao and Aruba also asked the Dutch military to help the police manage the storm. Sixty soldiers accompanied police patrols on Curacao, and Aruba had 50 soldiers for backup.
Despite Bonnie never actually turning into a storm, it still rained all day on the islands. Some places got a lot of rain, about 30 millimeters, but only a few streets flooded. As far as is known, no one gut hurt and the weather did little damage.
In a press conference on Wednesday night, Curacao’s Prime Minster Gilmar Pisas thanked god for protecting his people and the people for their patience. Pisas suspended the curfew from 4:00 a.m., and only schools will remain closed for 24 hours.
The tail of the weather system can still cause a lot of rain in the coming day, but the greatest danger has passed, Olav Geijs of the Caribbean Weather Center in Willemstad said to NOS. He expects the storm will officially get its name today as it moves away from the ABC islands. “The system is gaining strength because it has to cross a very large part of the Caribbean Sea west of the Caribbean islands to eventually make landfall in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. A lot of wind and rain is expected, possibly hurricane force.”