A bridge washed away by flood water in Saint Lucia
By Caribbean News Now contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia -- The ministry of health in Saint Lucia has now confirmed six deaths following the passage of a low pressure weather system that resulted in more than 6 inches of rainfall in the 24-hour period between December 24 and 25, 2013.
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) remains in response mode and on Thursday resumed deployment of volunteer and other personnel to lend logistic, technical and material support to victims in affected areas.
The Water and Sewage Company (WASCO) reported that it expected to have most of the island's water supply operational by the weekend. However, in some areas, flooding and landslides have affected the repair crews’ ability to attend to the damage.
The tourism sector reported minor damage to infrastructure and all properties remain open for business. Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus confirmed that all of the island hotels and leading tourism establishments weathered the system with little to no disruptions to normal operations.
Hewanorra International Airport reopened at 3:00 pm on Thursday.
Telecommunications provider LIME reported that its internet, mobile, landline and TV services were temporarily affected in certain communities. By and large, however, the company said its networks withstood the full force of the storm system.
The network in the north of the island remained in commission throughout Tuesday's heavy rains, so attention was focused on the south, where major landslides led to serious equipment damage.
Meanwhile, the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) called for national political “ceasefire” in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
The LPM called upon its political adversaries, the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) and the United Workers Party (UWP), to agree to a month-long political ceasefire so as to enable the people of Saint Lucia an opportunity to find unity and to focus on the serious economic challenges that currently confront them.
The LPM also called upon Prime Minister Kenny Anthony and his government to extend the deadline on the duty-free barrel concession to March 31, 2014, and to repeal VAT on essential products and services.
The LPM reiterated its pre-Christmas plea to the Saint Lucian community abroad “to approach this Christmas season as if the island were in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas or any other natural disaster.”
“Send whatever you can, and if you are able to double up on the barrels, send two instead of one. As Saint Lucians with an undeniable love for your country, you may also choose to make a special donation to a charitable organisation in the country. More than ever, our nation is in need of generous patriots who are determined to come to the aid of their countrymen,” the LPM concluded.
In the meantime, emergency supplies from Trinidad and Tobago were due to arrive in Saint Lucia on Friday on a Caribbean Airlines flight scheduled to leave Trinidad at 12:30 pm.