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A field hospital on display in Arnos Vale in November 2021. The government said it will set up one in Union Island in response to the impact of Hurricane Beryl on July 1, 2024. (Photo: Facebook/NBC Radio)
A field hospital on display in Arnos Vale in November 2021. The government said it will set up one in Union Island in response to the impact of Hurricane Beryl on July 1, 2024. (Photo: Facebook/NBC Radio)
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A field hospital will be erected on Union Island, where about 98% of the buildings were damaged during the passage of Hurricane Beryl on July 1.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said the government had the field hospital in stock and had displayed it at the tarmac of the decommissioned ET Joshua Airport in Arnos Vale.

“I, personally, talked to Rudy Daize to help the Ministry of Health and NEMO (National Emergency Management Organisation),” he said, adding that Daize, a contractor, has multiple skills.

“… to set up this hospital there, you need people with knowledge and experience and we have NEMO people and persons in health and police officers trained to do this…” the prime minister said.

He noted that the field hospital has 40 beds, adding that they will not all be needed for hospital purposes.

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“… you can see that persons who are very old, their houses are gone, the individuals who are having babies, … some of them with young children, it would help to ease the pressure.”

He noted that his government is making arrangements to evacuate people who want to and making arrangements for them to travel for free between Kingstown and the affected islands in the Southern Grenadines.

Gonsalves said this will begin to bring back some sense of normalcy “to the extent you can do it where the entire island is homeless,” he said, referring specifically to Union Island.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said the government had sent 10 portable toilets to the Southern Grenadines.

He said he was awaiting a report on 60 more portable toilets but to have a private sector entity manage them.

Gonsalves further said the government was organising a vessel with facilities on board to produce potable water to dock in Union Island.

 Further, the prime minister said he has asked acting Commissioner of Police Enville Williams to have the Coast Guard vessel stationed in Canouan ply between Mayreau and Canouan to keep communication between the two islands.

The vessel will also “carry out particular functions relating to security and just human wellness generally,” said Gonsalves, who is also minister of national security.

He said a team from BRAGSA, the government’s general services agency, and engineers from the Ministry of Works had been sent to the Southern Grenadines to conduct a full assessment.

“… I want to know the cost from them for the cleaning up,” he said, adding that while BRAGSA had sent a backhoe to Union Island, it was to show a presence and to do minimal things.

The prime minister said the owner of equipment on the island was also helping to clean up the roads.

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