By Ernesto Cooke
During the period 28th – 29th September, 2016 St. Vincent and the Grenadines experienced severe rains and gusty winds from Tropical Storm Matthew that affected the Eastern Caribbean. The Meteorological Office reported 86 mm (3.4 inches) of rainfall was recorded at the E. T. Joshua Airport during the last 24 hours. The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) recorded the following rainfall levels at their stations over the last 24 hours; South Rivers – 242.8 mm (9.5 inches), Dallaway- 269.4 mm (10.5 inches), Jennings- 197mm (8 inches), Convent – 198 mm (8 inches).
One (1) person has been confirmed dead and one person, a 68 year old man of Trigger Ridge was hospitalised and was later discharged.
Road clearance operations are continuing and BRAGSA reported that the Windward Highway is passable.
The Tropical Storm Warning for St. Vincent and the Grenadines was discontinued at 8:00 am on Thursday 29th September, 2016. The All Clear was issued at 11:00 a.m.
The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines authorized:
• The closing of all schools on Tuesday September 27th, 2016 at 2:00 pm. Schools across St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be closed for the rest of the week.
• The closing of all Businesses nationwide, Public and Private at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday September 28th, and Thursday 29th September, 2016.
3.0 The Impact
Preliminary reports on the impacts of the Tropical Storm Mathew are as follows:
3.1 Persons Affected:
Provided with Shelter: 462 (177 children and 285 adults)
Number Destroyed: 1
Number Damaged: 28
Assessments are on-going and these numbers are expected to increase.
No reports of structural damage to the road network. There are reports of twenty seven (27) damaged homes and one (1) destroyed.
The following rivers overflowed their banks:
• Vermont River
• South Rivers
• North River
• Spring Village Rivers
The Roads, Building and General Services Authority and the Ministry of Transport and Works commenced the cleanup operations and damage assessment will commence from 2 p.m. this afternoon.
• All facilities are adequately staffed, complimented by volunteers and retired staff.
• Total in-patient at MCMH: 126
• 107 adults
• 19 babies
District Hospitals remain functional with adequate staff and supplies.
• Georgetown without water due to non-functioning pump.
• Georgetown has no power as the generator is not functioning.
• MCMH reports no flooding but minor leaks. Adequate staff and supplies.
• Stubbs polyclinic reports no problems.
• All of the other district hospitals are fully functional.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has provided counselling for the family of the deceased young man in Layou.
The CWSA reported that the country’s water supply was disrupted and all areas except Marriaqua, Layou, Kingstown and Barrouallie. Some areas are still without water.
Vinlec received minor interruptions to their system, 95 % of the country has electricity.
3.7. SEARCH AND RESCUE
The Vermont Police Station was closed on Wednesday September 28th, 2016 at 9:00 pm as a result of the rising Vermont River which eventually over flow its bank at the Casino. Operations continued form the Layou Police Station.
As of 8:00 a.m. this morning operations at the Vermont Station resumed.
The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force rescued two persons who were trapped by landslide and swollen river.
4.0 PUBLIC INFORMATION AND EDUCATION
Press Releases and Public Service Announcements have been penned and distributed to all Media Houses and to the social media platforms of the NEMO, API and NBC Radio and other private media.
Prime Minister (AG), the Hon. Montgomery Daniel made two (2) national addresses on the National Braodcasting Corporation, and Star FM on Wednesday September 28th, 2016. These addresses were also distributed via email to all media houses.
Prime Minister Dr. The Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, and other officials from NEMO addressed the nation on Wednesday Septemeber 28th at 10:45 pm on the death of one person and the continuous heavy rainfall.
All notifications and any other communication are prepared and disseminated as the need arise.
5.0 Brief Description of Actions Taken so far:
• The National Emergency Management Organisation continues to coordinate the response to this emergency.
• The National Emergency Operations Centre is still fully activated.
• Two trucks and one front end loader were deployed to La Croix to deal with the clean up operations.
• Assessment in the Central Leeward area has commenced
• Dipcon is conducting preliminary assessment, clean up operations in South Leeward.
• BRAGSA is conducting clean up operations in the North River area, using a bulldozer and a front end loader.
• One bulldozer and a front end loader were deployed to do the clean up operations in areas from Argyle International Airport to San Souci.
• Clean up operations at the E. Joshua Airport is completed and the airport was reopened earlier this morning.
Source NEMO ST VINCENT