By Ernesto Cooke
Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, addressing the nation via phone from Barbados said that he is following all of the events taking place here at home.
Gonsalves expressed sympathy to the family of Kenron Lynch of Layou who lost his life on Tuesday night; he has become the first human casualty of Tropical storm Matthew.
The Prime Minister said he had heard of two other situations of possible fatalities but would reserve comment until receiving confirmation.
Nearly 300 persons are now in Emergency shelters across the island, and the Prime Minister is advising residents to listen to those in authority and look out for friends and family.
Gonsalves expressed thanks to those in the cabinet, to NEMO (National Emergency Management Organization) and all essential personnel who have been working to ensure that all runs well.
He also thanked the various governments who have already contacted him and expressed solidarity with the current situation and who have already pledged to assist should the need arise.
Dr. Gonsalves told citizens that the nation has been through difficult times before and they would be able to weather the storm one more time.
He said his government is experienced in dealing with disasters and assured Vincentians that his government stands ready to mobilize the necessary resources for relief and reconstruction.
The Prime Minister is currently in Barbados, now into their second day of national shutdown as a result of the passage of Matthew.
Gonsalves said he would be trying his best to return on Wednesday, but would all depend on whether or not the Government of Barbados reopens the airport on the neighboring island.