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Mitchell: Ivan devastated Grenada

Mitchell: Ivan devastated Grenada

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Grenada’s leader says at least nine people have died after Hurricane Ivan hit the eastern Caribbean island, triggering ferocious winds and rains. {{more}}
“We are terribly devastated,” Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Scores of homes were torn down, trees uprooted and utility lines knocked out in Grenada by 135mph (215km/h) winds.
Storm damage at an island prison enabled several inmates to escape, reports say.
The storm is gaining strength as it heads towards Jamaica.
The hurricane – thought to be the worst to hit the Caribbean in a decade – earlier brought down trees and power lines and blew off roofs in Barbados and Tobago.
At 1100 local time (1500 GMT), the storm was about 145 miles (235km) off the Dutch island of Bonaire. It is expected to hit Jamaica on Friday.
Storm warnings remain in place for the Dutch islands of Aruba and Curacao, as well as parts of Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Offshore oil installations in the Gulf of Mexico are also at risk of being damaged and hundreds of oil workers have been evacuated.

Full force

In comments broadcast on Wednesday by radio stations in Barbados, Mitchell said the damage was “beyond any imagination”.
He also said he feared the death toll would rise further.
“If you see the country today, it would be a surprise to anyone that we did not have more deaths than it appears at the moment. So, it is extremely tough on use.”
Mitchell – whose own home was destroyed – spoke from aboard the British naval patrol ship HMS Richmond, apparently by satellite telephone.
The eye of Hurricane Ivan moved over Grenada at 2100 GMT on Tuesday, the US National Hurricane Center said earlier.
“Grenada felt the full brunt of this storm,” meteorologist Chris Hennon was quoted by the AP news agency as saying. “Ivan’s eye was split in half over the island”.
Several hundred people had to be evacuated from low-lying areas, and television transmission was halted when the building housing Grenada Broadcast network was badly damaged.
Trinidad’s Prime Minister Patrick Manning promised $3.7m in food and aid for Grenada.

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