This house in Buccament Bay was flooded out on Saturday. It was also flooded out in the Christmas disaster. (IWN photo)

At least one person was hospitalized as a result of torrential rains in St. Vincent that caused damage to some houses, and flooding in Buccament Bay and Kingstown early Saturday.

The rains, which began before dawn and continued until around 8 a.m. in some areas, triggered landslides and flash floods in some areas — reminiscent of the trough system on December 24 that left nine confirmed dead, three missing, and extensive damage to infrastructure and housing.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, in an update to the nation around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, said while there were no deaths resulting from the torrential rains, someone from the Largo Height area was hospitalized when a wall fell and damaged a house.

Arrangements were being made to have the residents of that house placed in a shelter, said Gonsalves, who has ministerial responsibility for disaster management.

In Trigger Ridge, a community in Central Kingstown, a house was in “a precarious position”, and the government was making alternative arrangement for the family of eight, Gonsalves said.

Chair of the Housing and Land Development Corporation, Berisford Phillips, whose name has been flaunted as a potential candidate for Gonsalves Unity Labour Party in that constituency in the next general election, had visited the two families.

In Rose Place, Kingstown, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the Social Welfare visited an elderly man who was affected by the extreme weather and arranged for him to be taken to hospital, Gonsalves said.

Workers clean debris from drains in Kingstown on Saturday. (IWN photo)
Workers clean debris from drains in Kingstown on Saturday. (IWN photo)

Kingstown was flooded and the   cleaning up was already underway, while the main E.T. Joshua Airport, which was also flooded, was expected to remain close until around 4 p.m., the Prime Minister said.

Gonsalves said there were landslides across the country and two families in Buccament Bay were affected and will be housed at the Rillan Hill Community Centre.

Several persons from Buccament Bay who were affected by the December floods are still being housed at the community centre in the neighbouring village.

Among the house flooded out in Buccament Bay were two that were also flooded out during the Christmas Floods.

The Buccament Bay Seventh-Day Seventh-day Adventist Primary School, which was flooded in December, was also flooded on Saturday.

Gonsalves said that Director of NEMO, Howie Prince, had gone to Grenada to attend an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the passage of Hurricane Ivan, which had devastated that southern neighbour.

Prince was stuck in Barbados on his way back to St. Vincent, and his deputy, Michelle Forbes, is doing a programme in Taiwan.

Gonsalves said NEMO is being managed by the third in command, Holda Peters, and assured citizens that the relevant state agencies have been activated.

Gonsalves said some persons were concerned that the NEMO head is not in the country, but added that Prince has to be out of country from time to time.

Residents walk along a flooded road in Buccament Bay. (IWN photo)
Residents walk along a flooded road in Buccament Bay. (IWN photo)

He said the Roads, Bridges and General Services Authority has been mobilized and information is being communicated across the various agencies.

“Generally speaking, we are on top of things. I have been in touch with the Deputy Prime Minister [and] she in touch with me. We left one of the classrooms at Buccament Bay opened just in case someone had to go in there, even for a temporary basis.

“As you would note from this interim report, we have matters under control and all the agencies are activated. I am on the road, I will be going up along the Windward (eastern) side to see further what is taking place,” Gonsalves said.

He said the chief Engineer Brent Bailey had inspected bridges in the interior constituency of Marriaqua, “which is always a problematic area because of all the river” but “had not reported anything adverse”.

“I just want to advise the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines that other rainfall is likely to fall so we have to be on the lookout. You know we are vulnerable to natural disasters and we have to have a heightened sense of awareness and let’s all take caution. And in all, we are in the hands of the Lord,” Gonsalves said.

He noted that the clean-up will cost the nation, adding, “But it is not in anyway beyond us. We take everything in our strides.”

6 replies on “One person hospitalised after floods, landslides in St. Vincent”

  1. Every time it rains it floods Kingstown and the airport. Every time it floods for the same reason, large amounts of debris in the drainage system. Lack of cleaning, drains need to cleaned weekly not once or twice a year.

    You can see from the photo plant debris that should not be there.

    As for Buccament flooding, the Prime Minister has had warnings in reports for the last 13 years and nothing substantive has been done. The money or the will just has not been there. The loss of life and property at Christmas was perhaps avoidable if the river defence system had been funded and built.

    Still they are allowing building like crazy on land adjacent to the river.

    Still no attempt to fix the river defences.

    It is a ticking time bomb, many more lives will be lost, fix it now.

    I am accusing this Unity Labour Party government of using these flood tragedies as foreign exchange revenue earners.

    Now lets wait and see them use this latest flooding as a re-election tool again.

  2. The PM saying that “… we are in the hands of The Lord” means that God caused this flooding which means that the Government should not be blamed for poor disaster preparation and management, poor bridge, road, culvert, and drain maintenance, poor tree and bush planting, poor building permit granting, poor river cleaning, and poor zoning regulation.

    Why doesn’t he just say that cleaning up the mess should also be left in the hands of the Lord.

    And why doesn’t he just say that when things go right in SVG, it is because of the work of the ULP but when things go bad, it is the work of the Lord (whose wonders never cease).

    […]

  3. I’m saddened at a time like this your focus is on blaming and shaming. Not all issues have to be monetary measured and politically twisted. May God continue to bless all the people of SVG and never leave them or forsake them.

  4. Saddened, do you mean we should only comment about the happening and stay quiet about the contributions that fuel the tragedies, are really saying we should say nothing about the wrong? Are you another that doesn’t know wrong from right?

  5. Peter, you well know that a lot of Vincentians have been so brainwashed by various incarnations of massa that all they can do is endlessly repeat, “The Lord works in myterious ways, His wonders never cease” whenever we experience any calamity, whether designed by man or the blind work of nature.

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