TORONTO, Canada — The St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Consulate General in Toronto is mobilising nationals and friends in the diaspora to rally support for relief efforts following widespread destruction caused by severe flooding in St. Vincent on Christmas Eve.
Nine persons have been confirmed dead and four are still missing.
The heavy rains and landslides resulted in a number of houses, bridges and roads being destroyed, schools and other public buildings sustained damage and some communities are still inaccessible.
As many as 30 major rivers island-wide overflowed their banks.
Operations were disrupted at the main health institution, the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, at which the paediatric and other wards were flooded and critical equipment damaged or destroyed.
A preliminary estimate conducted by Ministry of Health officials puts the damage at the hospital at approximately EC$2 million.
The main E.T. Joshua Airport, was closed due to rising floodwaters in the terminal building.
Flights into and out of the airport have since resumed.
At the weekend, 50 per cent of consumers were without pipe-borne water, and 85 per cent are expected to be reconnected by today, Tuesday.
An early assessment of the cost of fully restoring the water systems has been put at EC$20-million and the overall damage to the country is expected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars. The tragedy has been described as the worst natural disaster in SVG in living memory.
Among the urgent needs as determined by the National Emergency Management Organisation are: mattresses, cots, clothing, sheet sets, toiletries, towels, adult and baby diapers, hygiene kits, cleaning kits, school supplies, household items, hospital supplies, and cash for purchasing building materials. Individuals, organisations and businesses are being urged to assist the St. Vincent authorities by donating items of need that would provide some relief to those affected.
KLC Shippers has agreed to ship relief items free of cost to the donor. Potential donors should contact the Consulate General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at telephone #416-398-4277.
The SVG Consulate General chaired a meeting on Sunday, involving representatives of SVG groups in Toronto who have pledged to participate in this massive relief effort.
Drop off locations for donations have been identified and cash can be deposited in the SVG Relief, Education and Medical Assistance (REMA) Organisation of Ontario TD Bank account number 108025212908 or at the Office of the Consulate General.
Consul General, Fitzgerald Huggins, will convene a follow-up meeting with the groups next week to consider what further fundraising efforts could be pursued. Nationals and friends will be kept informed accordingly.
The islands of St. Lucia and Dominica also suffered similar damage.
SVG disaster relief drop-off points in Canada
2019 EGLINGTON AVENUE WEST (BETWEEN CALEDONIA ROAD AND DUFFERIN AVENUE)
Friday January 3rd, 2014 Between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Saturday January 4th, 2014 Between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Contact persons: Marcia at 647-716-0181 or Claudius at 416-726-2841
2256 Birchmont Road, Scarborough (Birchmount and Sheppard) Tuesdays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursdays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tel: 416 754 3854
ST. LUKE’S ANGLICAN CHURCH
905 COXWELL AVENUE (at Cosburn Avenue) TORONTO, ONTARIO
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact person: Grace Stephens at 416-755-8184
THE OFFICES OF METELSKY PLOURDE LLP. 230 WESTNEY ROAD SOUTH
The Offices are opened during business hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. any day of the week. For more directions please call the front desk at 905-686-1243
CONSULATE GENERAL OF ST.VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES 55 TOWN CENTRE COURT, SUITE 624
Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
Tel: 416 398 4277
15 OXFORD DRIVE – AT WESTON ROAD AND EGLINGTON DROP OFF ANYTIME DURING THE DAY
Contact: Kenny Sylvester 647- 833-3419