Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

Christmas storm death toll rises
Published on December 27, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

Flooding in St Vincent

By Caribbean News Now contributor

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent -- The confirmed death toll following severe rains and high winds generated by an unseasonal low level trough system that impacted the Eastern Caribbean islands of Dominica, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines over a 24-hour period from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day has now risen to 22.

The numbers of fatalities is expected to increase following reports of residents that are still unaccounted for.

In St Vincent and the Grenadines, 17 people are reported dead as homes were destroyed and flooded, with residents being literally swept away by the dangerous floods. Rivers rose to dangerous levels and roads were blocked in many places, with downed trees and mud slides. Many bridges and roads are impassable.

Power and water are unavailable for many and the Milton Cato Hospital, the only major hospital in the country, was flooded.

In neighbouring Saint Lucia, the death toll now stands at five. Much of the southern and western sections of the island were left without water, electricity and telecommunications service.

According to St Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) crews were working in areas that remained without power. Most of these areas are in the south of the island and include Daban, La Maze and Au Park which are all supplied from the Saltibus Line (Choiseul), Vivancelle (a small area in Belle Vue, Vieux Fort), Valier (a small area in Banse, Laborie) and Roblot (Choiseul).

LUCELEC’s transmission and distribution manager Gilroy Pultie said all these areas should be re-energised by the end of Thursday.

Restoration of Hope Estate in Choiseul, which suffered extensive damage, continued to be a challenge due to difficulties with access. Similarly, access is hampering the restoration of Venus Road, the only area in the north that remains without power.

Pultie said that, once LUCELEC crews can gain access to these two areas, the restoration work there should be completed fairly quickly.

The George Charles Airport was reopened from 9:00 am on Wednesday and operations are back to usual levels. However, Hewanorra International Airport was more extensively affected by the weather, which caused a significant amount of debris to settle on the runway and flooding in the terminal building.

Airport crews were working to accommodate safe landing of aircraft and passenger facilitation as of 3:00 pm Thursday.

The Roseau River in Dominica swollen by floodwater. Photo: CBN4

In Dominica, rockfalls and landslides occurred in the Roseau Valley area and flash flooding caused the temporary blockage of some roads. Roads leading to and from southern villages were blocked by debris and landslides.

Electricity service was interrupted and intermittent through several parts of the island.

Meanwhile, the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad Bissessar, has requested that the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) mobilize foodstuff and emergency supplies to be sent to St Lucia.

The ODPM has items in its national warehouse as well as five pre-positioned and pre-packed 40-ft containers. Items necessary for immediate mobilization have been placed in these containers and warehouses. With the assistance of the Supermarkets Association, water manufacturers and other key suppliers of emergency goods and services, the ODPM is mobilizing the necessary stuff to be sent to Saint Lucia in the shortest possible time.

The CEO of ODPM, Dr Stephen Ramroop has contacted the deputy prime minister of Saint Lucia, Philip J Pierre, and received a list of items that were urgently required by the government and people of Saint Lucia.

The following were among the items requested:

Canned goods
Infant formula
Hygiene kits
Disaster kits
First aid kits

The ODPM has commenced packing two 40-ft containers and was expected to be ready to ship to Saint Lucia by 1:00 pm Thursday.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago government, no requests had yet come from the other affected islands.

The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, expressed his deep sorrow over the loss of life and severe damage.

Commenting on the situation, Insulza stated, “This is very bad news, even more that it has occurred on Christmas Day. The unseasonable nature of the heavy rains and flooding raises once again the impact of climate change in the Caribbean region.”

The secretary general added that he would convene other agencies within the Inter-American system to mobilize a hemispheric response.

People living in Britain, who wish to help families in Saint Lucia in the aftermath of the Christmas storm, should contact Dr Ernest Hilaire High Commissioner of Saint Lucia, 1 Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, London SW5 0HW, England, Tel: 011 (44207) 370 7123 Fax: 011 (44207) 7370 1905 Email:
Reads: 17265

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Dave Levenstone, Saba:

The people of Saba join me at this time in extending our heartfelt condolences to the family and relatives of those that have lost their lives. As one Caribbean people we will do whatever we can to help those that are left in need.


Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Enter Code

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

2014 Mind Your Eye

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: