Update 3:30 pm
There is no more smoke visible from The Bottom. On Facebook, the Government announced that they will let the rest of the fire burn out in a controlled manner. “Various authorities are keeping an eye on the controlled burn.”
On Tuesday morning a big fire started again at the dump. Thick smoke is filling the valley of The Bottom. There is no information available about the cause of the fire nor if there are any casualties.
The airport closed because the fire truck assisted in the landfill. A patient was waiting for a dialysis treatment in St. Maarten, but had to return home. The helicopter for urgent medical evacuations was not allowed to land due to the absence of the of the fire fighters. Several passengers will loose their connecting flights.
The Saba Government is operating a dedicated app for smart phones to inform the public in case of disasters: Disasterprep Saba. There was no news communicated through this app.
Government Information Services placed some information on Facebook. Here they warned the public to avoid the area of the landfill. Through Facebook, residents of St. John and the Bottom were advised to close doors and windows to keep the smoke out.
Around 11:30, again through Facebook, The Government announced that the Fire Department had the fire under control. They expected the airport to open again by the end of the afternoon.
Health risks of the landfill
Landfill fires can be very toxic, but the inefficient management of waste may also constitute health risks, even if the landfill is not burning. If the waste management is not optimal, the location of the schools in St. Johns may constitute a serious health problem for our youth. Check out this information.