(See video at end of post)

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has urged state officials to act swiftly to help persons affected by the 24/12/13 disaster.

Torrential rains on Christmas Eve (12-24) have claimed eight lives, with five still missing, almost a week on, threatening to push the death tolls to 13.

Police said Friday that there is a slim chance that any of the missing will be found alive.

Gonsalves made the call for urgent action on Saturday as he addressed the media in the presence of a room full of local and regional officials, who had just concluded a planning meeting.

I-Witness News was the only local media present when Gonsalves gave a briefing at the end of the planning meeting.

The planning meeting included members of the Cabinet; diplomats; senior government officials; Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and chair of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Baldwin Spencer; local and foreign contractors, utility companies, financial institutions, representatives of the governments of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, representatives of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), heads of SVG overseas missions and others.

The severe rains and high winds due to a low level trough system has also impacted St. Lucia, and Dominica.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM_qdoGQ5_g&feature=youtu.be