The Regional Response Mechanism of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDEMA) has been activated to provide a Level II response in St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.
This, after heavy rainfall and high winds associated with a low level trough system between Monday and Christmas Day caused severe flooding and landslides, which resulted in significant damage and loss of life.
In a release issued today, CDEMA explained: “A Level II event does not overwhelm a country’s capacity to respond but the affected state may require some external assistance.
“Critical infrastructure such as roads, health centres and airports, damage to homes as well as interruption in water and power supply and telephone services was also reported.
“In St Vincent and the Grenadines, eight people [so far] have been confirmed dead as a result of landslides and flooding, while another five remain missing. Emergency shelter has been provided for 62 persons. The E. T. Joshua Airport and Milton Cato Memorial Hospital have also been affected,” CDEMA reported.
In Dominica, the main impact was in the southern part of the island from Scotshead to Laudat and Canefield, where flash flooding and land slippage have blocked roads, homes and interrupted electrical power supplies, while in Saint Lucia, where at least 400 mm of rainfall have been recorded in some areas, six deaths have been reported.
“Roads and bridges have also been severely damaged, cutting off access to many communities. Water and power supplies have also been disrupted.”
“The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is liaising with the Government of Barbados, which functions as the Sub-Regional Focal Point for the Central Sub-Region, to coordinate the response to this event. The CDEMA CU has provided briefs on the event to the CARICOM Secretary General, CDEMA Participating States and partners and continues to facilitate the coordination of relief efforts as required.
“Engineering technical support has been placed on standby, through the University of the West Indies, to be available to the affected states on request. The CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU) is also coordinating closely with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to address health-related issues in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,” the statement said. (RG)