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OAS pledges help for flood-hit islands
Secretary general of the Organisation of American States (OAS) Jose Miguel Insulza says he will convene other agencies to mobilise a hemispheric response to assist countries in the eastern Caribbean which lost 14 citizens and suffered major infrastructure damage. It was caused by more than ten hours of continuous rainfall in St Lucia, St Vincent and Dominica.
Six people died in St Lucia and eight in St Vincent, including a relative of that country’s Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves. He was expected to return home last evening after reducing his Christmas vacation in Europe because of the tragedy. St Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony described the situation in his country as “a human tragedy of immense proportions.” He told St Lucians it would be “a hard road ahead for the country.”
Deputy Prime Minister of St Vincent Girlyn Miguel declared a Level 2 Disaster on the island on Christmas Day. And in a statement issued yesterday, Insulza expressed his deep sorrow over the loss of life and severe damage caused by unseasonably heavy rainfall in Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. He assured citizens in the respective Caricom countries that the OAS “stands in solidarity with them at this very difficult time.”
“This is very bad news, even more that it has occurred on Christmas Day,” Insulza said: “The unseasonable nature of the heavy rains and flooding raises once again the impact of climate change in the Caribbean region.”
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