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Close to 50 Vincentians still in shelters after Tomas: Forbes

Close to 50 Vincentians still in shelters after Tomas: Forbes


Just over two months after Tomas, a category two hurricane, destroyed homes and this country’s banana industry, close to 50 Vincentians are still living in shelters.{{more}}

Acting Director of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Michelle Forbes, at a brief press conference yesterday, disclosed that 47 persons are still living in shelters.

This was disclosed during a ceremony in which NEMO received a financial contribution from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Winnipeg Inc.

Forbes indicated that the displaced citizens were spread throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but were located mainly on the island’s Leeward coast. She said her organization is working closely with the Housing and Land Development Corporation (HLDC) to have these persons returned quickly to their homes.

“We have several families in Fitz Hughes and Chateaubelair; we also have two families in Largo Height, and one family in Georgetown,” she disclosed.

“I know a number of houses are currently under construction and that the HLDC is charged with that and Mr. Maurice Slater has said that it will take several months before everyone is back to some level of normalcy,” Forbes added.

After Tomas struck mainland St. Vincent on Saturday, October 31, approximately 1,200 persons were forced to evacuate their homes.

Many were placed in Emergency Shelters (primary and secondary schools, Learning Resource Centers, churches, and community centers), while assessments were made as to which homes were safer and how much it would cost to resettle hurricane victims into the homes.

The majority of the structural damage was centered around the northern end of the island. The agriculture sector was seriously affected, with a number of banana and plantain fields destroyed.