CHRISTMAS EVE Rain Storm and Flood Disaster Takes Place in ST. VINCENT and THE GRENADINES. St. Lucia and Dominica Were Struck By Storm as Well. Caribbean Diaspora Organizations In America Try to Help Victims

Christmas Eve Heavy Rains and Winds cause considerable damage in St. Vincent and The Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica.  Photo courtesy of i955fm.com

Christmas Eve Heavy Rains and Winds cause considerable damage in St. Vincent and The Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica. Photo courtesy of i955fm.com

Copyright 2013 by Teofilo Colon Jr.  (a.k.a. “Tio Teo” or “Teofilo Campeon”) All Rights Reserved.  Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

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St Vincent and the Grenadines – A Rain Storm that arrived on Christmas Eve in St. Vincent and the Grenadines triggered floods and landslides that has left the island with people missing, dead and the damage of much of it’s infrastructure.  The countries of St. Lucia and Dominica were also affected by the heavy rains.  Carribean Diaspora Organizations are working to help victims of this natural disaster.

Weather Map of some of the Island countries that make up the Eastern Caribbean.  Weather Map courtesy of thewatchers.adorraeli.com

Weather Map of some of the Island countries that make up the Eastern Caribbean. Weather Map courtesy of thewatchers.adorraeli.com

Eight people have been confirmed dead or missing after heavy rains on Christmas Eve triggered extensive flooding, landslides and damage to the infrastructure in St. Vincent.

St. Vincentian wades through water after Christmas Eve storm causes extensive flooding and landslides there.  Photo courtesy of ttnewsflash.com

St. Vincentian wades through water after Christmas Eve storm causes extensive flooding and landslides there. Photo courtesy of ttnewsflash.com

Various news accounts report that homes were damaged or destroyed, several bridges collapsed, residents were without clean water for days, people died or went missing, and overall hundreds of millions of dollars of damage and loss took place.  This damage was a result of the severe rains and high winds due to a low level trough system.  As noted previously, this weather helped trigger flooding and landslides that no doubt caused this considerable damage.

Car trapped in water after flooding caused by heavy rains hit St. Vincent on Christmas Eve.

Car trapped in water after flooding caused by heavy rains hit St. Vincent on Christmas Eve.

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Several areas in St. Vincent have been declared disaster areas.  They include:

  • Kingstown
  • Rose Bank
  • Buccament Bay
  • South Rivers
  • Spring Village
  • Vermont
  • Byera
  • North Leeward
  • South Leeward

The Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, the E.T. Joshua Airport, roads and bridges were also damaged.
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Cow on roof of home in St. Vincent in aftermath of Christmas Eve storm there.  Photo by David Burke.

Cow on roof of home in St. Vincent in aftermath of Christmas Eve storm there. Photo by David Burke.

 

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Priest conforms grieving woman in Buccament Bay in St Vincent.

Priest conforms grieving woman in Buccament Bay in St Vincent.  Photo courtesy of iwnsvg.com

 

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Lady consoled by St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves after Christmas Eve Rain Disaster there.  Photo courtesy of I-Witness News.

Lady consoled by St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in Rose Bank after Christmas Eve Rain Disaster there. Photo courtesy of I-Witness News.

 

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Relief efforts have begun as organizations representing St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Dominca have been gathering food and supplies to send to the countries mentioned.  Caribbean Columnist Jared McCallister has reported that Organizations gathering food and supplies in New York include:

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St. Lucia House Foundation and the St. Lucia Consulate in New York.

The St. Lucia House Foundation is located at 438 E. 49th St. (between Brooklyn and New York Aves.) in Brooklyn.  much-needed relief donations — which are due to be delivered to the island on Dec. 30 — are children’s and adults’ clothing, blankets, shoes, school supplies and diapers.  For information and drop-off times, call Matthias Wilkie at (347) 219-1512 or Browne at (404) 438-9108.

For information on relief efforts to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, call the Manhattan consulate at (212) 687- 4490 or send email to svgconny@aol.com.  Supplies were collected at a branch of the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center.  Which is located at 671 Prospect Place (between Bedford Avenue and Franklin Avenue), Brooklyn, New York 11216.

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I do not know of any organizations representing Dominica that have been involved in relief efforts.

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St. Vincent is the ancestral land of the Garifuna people.  They originated there and were forcibly removed to Roatan, Honduras by the British in 1797 and losing to them in war.   A few also lived in St. Lucia and Dominica, but I have not been able to academically or anthropologically confirm that.  I’ve read that Caribs were in St. Lucia and Dominica but that isn’t quite the same as saying Black Caribs, which the Garifuna were known as.  Confusing, right?  Yes, I know.  I make the distinction between Carib and Black Carib because the Black Caribs were an identifiable ethnic groups.  Enough for the distinction to be made all those hundreds of years ago.  So, I try to keep that distinction in mind.  Hopefully, further information is uncovered that will enable us to have a clearer picture of relations in the Caribbean.

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- – Teofilo Colon Jr