Persons converge in Cane Grove on Wednesday, Christmas Day, where an 18-year-old woman died and a 2-year-old baby is missing. (IWN photo)

Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, says that if requested, her country is ready to assist St. Vincent, St. Lucia, and Dominica in the wake of the trough system that has left at least 13 dead, others missing, and widespread destruction overnight Christmas Eve.

The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) in Kingstown has placed housing, food, and water on its list of most urgent requirements.

It was not immediately clear if a request has been made for foreign assistance.

Landslides and floodwaters in St. Vincent killed eight persons and at least five are dead in St. Lucia.

There was damage to infrastructure in all three countries.

A post on Persad-Bissessar’s Facebook page said that as Prime Minister with responsibility for security in CARICOM, her country stand ready to help.

Deputy Director of NEMO, Michelle Forbes, said at 6 p.m. Wednesday that five persons were missing, and 62 homeless.

Estimated damage to housing showed that nine were destroyed and 15 damaged.

The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) was continuing its assessment in the Vermont and impacted areas and 50 per cent of consumers were without pipe-borne water.

Forbes said it was expected that residents between Layou and Prospect will be without water, at least until Saturday.

The CWSA said Wednesday around 7 p.m. Wednesday that restorative work has already commenced on the Layou system but all of the other systems will require significant work over the coming week in order to have complete restoration. “Interim measures, including trucking of water and limited inter-linking of systems, will be put in place to alleviate any hardships,” the CWSA further said.

Forbes further said that several communities remained cut-off due to damaged bridges and blocked roads.

The North Windward community of Sandy Bay was inaccessible to vehicular traffic and several blockages from landslides were preventing access to communities in North Leeward.

The Caratal bridge is damaged, and a Bailey by-pass bridge in Colonarie was washed away.

Temporary measures on the Caratal Bridge were expected to allow single lane access to vehicular traffic Wednesday night.

Forbes further said it that it has provided, sleeping bags, comfort kits and jerry cans to those affected and that the Ministry of Transport and Works has commenced initial damage assessment in accessible areas.

The Ministry of Education has activated its Emergency Shelter Committee and two emergency shelters have been activated, in Buccament and Chateaubelair.

The Ministry of Health has conducted several emergency meetings with the Health Emergency Committee.

At the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, the paediatric, male medical, maternity (delivery), and the neonatal intensive care units have been temporary relocated as clean-up operations continue.

The psychosocial support team, led by the Ministry of Health, is providing support to those persons injured from this event.

The Roads Building and General Services Authority (BRAGSA), Ministry of Transport and Works and the Forestry Department continue their road clearing operations.

Acting Prime Minister, Girlyn Miguel, Director of NEMO, Howie Prince, and other Government Officials visited affected areas Wednesday on the Leeward (western) side as far as Belle Isle and Georgetown on the Windward (eastern) side.

The SVG Red Cross Society was distributing jerry cans in affected areas and E.T. Joshua Airport, which was flooded out Tuesday night, has reopened.

NEMO itself remains partially activated.

Trevor Pile supplied 60 cooked meals to persons in emergency shelter at the Buccament Secondary School.

Telecommunications provider LIME is also donating food and other supplies to families in the Emergency Shelter at Buccament.

3 replies on “Trinidad willing to help St. Vincent after Christmas disaster”

  1. Well done to Trevor Pile who coordinated very quickly the efforts to provide meals to those staying at the shelter at the Buccament Secondary School. Fantastic work!
    Members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church have been providing food and refreshments to many who are homeless and need support. Young church members in their Rapid Response Team (RRT) helped repair the airport´s perimeter fence so it could get operational again, and at the Milton Cato, they were there again helping out.
    We appreciate all these volunteers, along with many others in the community, who are unselfishly giving to help others.
    Our prayers and thoughts are for those who have lost loved ones and trust that they find comfort in God´s love and compassion in these difficult times.

  2. Nicholas Providence says:

    It is very heart warming to see the tremendous out pouring of help to those in need in the face of the natural calamity that touch our country. Hope this level of love and support continue beyond this disaster. In addition, I pray that this crisis will serve as a reminder to us, that no matter what we are always our brothers and sisters keepers. In closing, I send my condolences and love to everyone in my country whether affected or unaffected by the natural disaster.

  3. Who will ensure that any aid received will not be directed mainly to special-interest groups (political parties; members of certain constituencies; favoured families; etc.)? Be sure to send aid only to independent and impartial organizations such as the Red Cross. Don’t send money to either political party because it is likely to be used only to help supporters!

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