British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Sep 26, 2021

High surf warning in effect for VI until Sunday

High surf warning in effect for VI until Sunday

The Virgin Islands (VI) Department of Disaster Management (DDM) has indicated that a high surf warning is in effect for the territory until Sunday, March 21, 2021.

According to the DDM, Seas (significant wave heights) will be 1.5 to 2.5 metres (5 to 8 feet), occasionally reaching 3 metres (10 feet). Swell period: 9 to 15 seconds. Swells: North-northeast at 1.2 to 2 metres (4 to 6 feet), occasionally higher.

“Surfs (breaking swells): Over 2 metres (over 6 feet, these conditions are conducive for dangerous rip currents… surfs could be as much as twice the height of swells, depending on the bathymetry of the nearshore areas,” the department warned.

As such, the DDM is further warning against coastal flooding and said high tides combine with onshore wind and swell actions could result in localized coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Dangerous Rip Currents


The DMM noted that sea conditions will also be very conducive for dangerous rip currents as such person should take caution in the waters. Impacts could include loss of life, as strong currents can even carry even the strongest swimmers out to sea.

More effects could include "injuries to beachgoers; beach erosion; sea water splashing onto low lying coastal roads; beach closures; disruptions to marine recreation and businesses; financial losses; damage to coral reefs; saltwater intrusion and disruptions to potable water from desalination. High surfs can knock spectators off exposed rocks and jetties. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbours making navigating the harbour channel dangerous."

The DDM says a high surf warning means that dangerous battering waves, with surfs of over 3 metres or over 10 feet, will pound the shoreline and also urged persons to stay away from rocky and or coastal structures along beaches in the affected areas.

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