Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 31st 2013 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The T&T Red Cross Society is appealing to the
public to assist in disaster relief for the islands of
St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Dominica.
In a press release to the T&T Guardian, the Red
Cross outlined its objective of collecting donations
of non-perishable food items and water to send to
those islands in their time of need. It also said the
organisation was not collecting clothing.
The release highlighted the additional challenges
faced in St Lucia, where a warehouse belonging to
the St Lucia Red Cross caught fire, destroying relief
items, such as mattresses, that could have been dis-
tributed amongst affected residents.
Anyone wishing to make a donation is urged to
drop off the items at any of three Red Cross locations:
Its headquarters at 7a Fitzblackman Drive, Wrightson
Road Extension, Port-of-Spain; the South branch at
2 Ruth Avenue, San Fernando; or the Tobago branch
at Signal Hill.
Anyone seeking further information can contact
the Red Cross at 627-8215/8128 in Port-of-Spain,
652-2024 in San Fernando or 639-2781 in Tobago.
Plea for help
from Red Cross
CASTRIES, St Lucia---Prime Min-
ister Dr Kenny Anthony says the
damage unleashed by a low-level
trough over the Christmas holidays
has been extensive and severe,
resulting in a further setback for
"The road ahead will be difficult
and hard especially in the face of
the economic challenges facing our
country," Prime Minister Anthony
told a news conference yesterday.
"But we have handled this disaster
magnificently, largely on our own
efforts with few resources. We have
worked together, mourned together
and supported each other. It is that
kind of spirit we must invoke to face
the future," he added.
Anthony told reporters that many
people had lost all of their belongings
to the floodwaters that have also
been blamed for the deaths of six
"We now know that some ten
homes were completely destroyed
by the raging floods. Several vehicles
were damaged by flooding, some
beyond repair," Prime Minister
Anthony said, adding that agriculture
had suffered badly, with initial esti-
mates pointing to a 30 to 40 per
cent damage to banana fields, 90
per cent to vegetables and five per
cent damage to tree crops.
Additionally, 90 per cent of all
ponds suffered varying degrees of
siltation, Anthony said, adding that
his administration had set itself five
priorities in the aftermath of the
damage caused by the weather sys-
He said, firstly, the government
would provide care, support and
assistance to those who were affected
by the flood waters.
"We were anxious to secure the
re-opening of our airports to ensure
the movement of passengers to and
from St Lucia and assure our source
tourism markets that we were open
for business and that their holidays
would not be compromised."
Anthony also said the government
was urging the public utilities com-
panies to restore services as quickly
as possible, in addition to vehicular
traffic around the island.
"The Government of St Lucia is
pleased to report that we met all of
our objectives in this short term,"
he told reporters as he also praised
Caribbean countries and other
friendly countries for coming to the
assistance of the island.
He added: "We often describe the
Caribbean as a family. There was no
better illustration of this than the
support which we received from our
neighbours. Nearly every head of
government contacted me to express
condolences and to offer support
and assistance to our island.
"While others wanted estimates,
our Caribbean family came to our
support immediately, without being
prompted," he said, noting that with-
out asking, the Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar administration in T&T had been
the first to respond to the plight of
He said the St Kitts-Nevis Gov-
ernment had made an EC$1 million
donation to the island and the Gov-
ernment of Barbados had offered
water and any other assistance St
Lucia would require.
"Later this week, we are expecting
supplies by boat from the Govern-
ments of Suriname and Guyana. On
Sunday, the Prime Minister of
Antigua and Barbuda and current
chairman of the OECS Authority,
Baldwin Spencer, visited St Lucia to
see the damage for himself."
Anthony said Venezuelan Presi-
dent Nicolas Maduro had expressed
"feelings of brotherhood and soli-
darity and reiterated a commitment
to us and indeed the peoples of the
Caribbean in these difficult times."
He said Caracas had pledged "its
unwavering support" in caring for
the victims and the "reconstruction
of the affected infrastructure.
"Within 24 hours the island was
motorable, albeit imperfectly in some
cases. The work done by the Ministry
of Infrastructure, Port Services and
Transport was outstanding," Antho-
ny told reporters, adding that he was
reserving his greatest thanks to the
people of St Lucia whom he said
were determined, patient, co-oper-
ative, disciplined, and sometimes
"I thank those who gave their
equipment freely to remove debris
and to repair damaged roads to
enable the safe passage of vehicles.
I remember a visit to Canaries and
the young people whom I met,
armed with spades, buckets and
brooms as they cleaned their com-
"The people of Bexon had every
reason to be disappointed, frustrated
and even angry after another flood
but they were calm, co-operative
and grateful as they commenced the
task to clean their community," he
said, thanking also the corporate
community for its assistance and
singled out Buckeye, the company
that recently bought out the US-
owned HESS Terminal here.
"Although still unknown, because
they have only recently arrived in
our midst, they have donated
EC$66,391.18 in supplies to aid our
recovery efforts, all purchased locally.
We thank them immeasurably,"
Anthony said, adding that the gov-
ernment is yet to determine the
nature of support that would be
given to those who lost all their
However, he assured children and
their parents that school books would
be replaced and grants be given to
purchase lost school uniforms.
He said that would be done to
coincide with the reopening of
"The weeks and months ahead
will be critical, as we move to restore
normalcy to the island. I urge all to
continue in the spirit of love and
unity that prevailed immediately
after the passage of the trough. While
many of our possessions were
washed away in the floods, our spirit
as a caring and resilient society
remains," he said.
Disaster a setback says Anthony
A damaged car after flooding in St Lucia on Christmas Eve. PHOTO COURTESY BILL MORTLEY
Dr Kenny Anthony
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