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Warnings issued as Storm Ciara predicted to hit west Wales

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NATURAL RESOURCES WALES (NRW) is urging people living near the Welsh coast to be prepared for possible flooding this weekend as Storm Ciara reaches the UK.
Current forecasts indicate that strong winds could cause a tidal surge and large waves hitting the coast.
Combined with heavy rainfall which is likely to see rivers rise quickly, NRW expects to issue flood alerts and possibly warnings across the country from Saturday afternoon through to Monday.

With the worst of the conditions expected on Sunday, NRW advises people to keep a safe distance from coastal paths, promenades, piers, and from river banks.

Emergency response workers from NRW are already making preparations ahead of the storm, checking defences are in good working order and making sure any drainage grids and screens are clear, to reduce the risk to people and their homes.

Richard Preece, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Our teams are keeping a close eye on forecasts and predicted river and sea levels this weekend, and if necessary, will issue flood warnings to registered properties in those areas at risk.
“We have already been speaking with our partners from the emergency services and the local authorities so they can put their plans into action.
“We are also warning people to avoid visiting the sea front due to the risk of being swept away by large waves or hit by wave and wind-blown debris.
“Flood water can also be extremely dangerous, and people should not attempt to walk or drive through it unless instructed by the emergency services.”

Network Rail and Transport for Wales have issued joint information ahead of Storm Ciara, which is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the Wales and Borders route this weekend.

The Met Office has issued a yellow wind warning for the whole of the UK and two yellow rain warnings on Sunday.

Transport for Wales Operations Director Martyn Brennan and Amanda Newton, Senior Incident Officer at Network Rail said: “With Storm Ciara set to bring gale force winds of up to 90mph on Sunday, Transport for Wales and Network Rail wish to urge all customers to check their journeys prior to travel.

“We’re expecting very stormy conditions, high tides and winds that have the potential to uproot trees and damage infrastructure.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues is our absolute priority and as such there are likely to be a number of speed restrictions in place around our network, while some other lines may be forced to close entirely. We are working closely together to minimise any disruption and will do all we can to keep our customers moving and informed.”

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First coronavirus (COVID-19) case confirmed in Wales

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THE FIRST coronavirus case confirmed in Wales, in a patient who had returned from Italy – taking total UK cases to 17.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Frank Atherton, has confirmed that a patient in Wales has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dr Atherton said: “I can confirm that one patient in Wales has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

“All appropriate measures to provide care for the individual and to reduce the risk of transmission to others are being taken.

“I can also confirm that the patient had travelled back to Wales from Northern Italy, where the virus was contracted.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to assure the public that Wales and the whole of the UK is well prepared for these types of incidents. Working with our partners in Wales and the UK, we have implemented our planned response, with robust infection control measures in place to protect the health of the public.”

No further information is being released at this time to protect patient confidentiality.

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Monkton: Large fine for trader found illegally carrying scrap metal

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A PEMBROKESHIRE man pleaded guilty to illegally carrying scrap metal.

Edmund Thomas Paul Boswell, of Castle Quarry Road, Monkton, has been fined a total of £2,250 by Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Courts.

Boswell’s lorry was stopped in the Llawhaden area during a joint operation between Dyfed-Powys Police and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on 21 June 2019.

The lorry was full of scrap metal loaded in a dangerous manner.

NRW officers carried out checks and found that Boswell was not a registered waste carrier.

He was given advice on how to register officially as a waste carrier with NRW and as a scrap metal dealer with Pembrokeshire County Council, but failed to do so and was summonsed to court.

He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay NRW and legal costs bringing the total to £2,250.

Gavin Bown, South West Operations Manager, of NRW, said: “Mr Boswell refused to cooperate and become a registered waste carrier.

“We’re taking a tough stance against waste crime and illegal operators. Waste crime puts people and the environment at risk and undermines legitimate businesses and the investment and economic growth that go with it.
“Waste regulation is necessary to make sure every effort is made to eliminate or reduce waste, prevent pollution and protect people, nature and the environment from hazards.”

Anyone who transports waste as part of their business needs to be registered as a waste carrier.

Those who arrange for waste from other businesses or organisations to be transported, disposed of, or recovered, need to be registered as a waste broker.

Anyone who buys or sells waste, or uses an agent to do so, needs to be registered as a waste dealer.

Gavin Bown added: “I would encourage people to report any concerns they may have about illegal waste carriers operating in their area to NRW on 0300 065 3000. All reports are confidential and the incident line is open 24 hours a day.”

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Haverfordwest High School ski trip updated statement

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Haverfordwest High VC School is closed for a pre-arranged Inset day today (Wednesday, 26th February) for staff training.

The school is intending to re-open tomorrow (Thursday) in line with guidance from Public Health Wales.

The family of two pupils who went on a family trip to Northern Italy over half-term have also sought advice from Public Health Wales. Although the family visited the region of Veneto, they did not visit the quarantined town of Vo. The advice for them is the same as for other people who have visited Northern Italy – that they do not need to self-isolate unless they have symptoms of coughing, shortness of breath or fever. Neither of the pupils have presented any symptoms.

To view the statement released by the school yesterday (Tuesday), please visit https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/newsroom/haverfordwest-high-school-ski-trip-statement

* For the latest advice on coronavirus, please visit the Public Health Wales website at https://phw.nhs.wales/news/public-health-wales-statement-on-novel-coronavirus-outbreak-in-china/

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