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A photo of the damage left by Hurricane Beryl in Union Island on Monday, July 1, 2024.
A photo of the damage left by Hurricane Beryl in Union Island on Monday, July 1, 2024.
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At least one person was reported to have died as a result of the passage of Hurricane Beryl, a category 4 storm, across St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Monday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said.

“Sadly, it has been reported to NEMO, we do not as yet have all the details, that one person died,” Gonsalves said in a national address Monday night in which he reported on the passage of the hurricane, the first to pass directly over the country since 1955.

“There may well be more fatalities. We are not yet sure. Given the fact that I am reporting to you a few hours after the devastation was wrought upon this land, the report is, necessarily, provisional, but it is necessary that I speak to you,” he said.

The prime minister said people were suffering across the nation and hundreds of families were uncertain of their future in respect of their housing.

“We dont know yet the number of houses which have been damaged or destroyed but the information which is coming in, the number is in the hundreds,” he said. 

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He said Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves had told him that  28 families were homeless in a small area of Glen on the border between East and West St. George.  

“We have to made arrangements for the housing of those persons and such persons across the country,” the prime minister said, adding that hundreds of families were adversely affected.

“This is a difficult time but we  have to maintain a patience and a calm and we have to have a good humour,” Gonsalves said.

“We are resilient people and I am sure that we will roll up our shirt sleeves … We gotta get to work,” he said, adding that women and men have the proverbial sleeves.

“Today has been a rough day. It has been a day of much devastation. It is a day, however, that we must thank Almighty God that we haven’t had any significant loss of life,” he said, noting the one reported fatality.

Gonsalves said he was grateful that the roof at the Official Residence of the Prime Minister, in Old Montrose, where he weathered the storm, did not blow off, as he had feared.

He said that while arrangements had been made for him to go downstairs the building, he did not become necessary.

“But it was for a period of one hour and a half, two hours, Oh I tell you, as for everybody, it was something which required you to just be calm and keep your fears at bay,” the prime minister said. 

He said the tropical storm warning for SVG was expected to be lifted later Monday  night.