Over 1,200 Homes Damaged By Tomas In St. Vincent

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Nov. 2, 2010: As forecasters of the National Hurricane Center last night warned Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic to watch out for Tropical Storm Tomas, officials in St. Vincent and the Grenadines said over 1,2 00 homes were destroyed by the category one storm over the weekend.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador to the U.S., La Celia Prince, last night said the most recent assessment as of yesterday has indicated that the number of homes damaged by the hurricane now amounts to double what had been estimated Sunday.

The ambassador also said the main road in Hopewell has completely collapsed, having succumbed to the impact of the over-flowing river. However, no loss of lives were reported and the  two fishermen who were previously reported missing have now been found on Balliceaux. They are in good health and were taken to Bequia and would later be transported to mainland St. Vincent, the ambassador said.

 She added that the country is appealing for aid and that the United States Government has approved the disbursement of US $50,000 for emergency relief, with a possible further contribution pending a complete assessment of the damage.

The United States` Office of Foreign Natural Disaster Assistance (OFNA) will also today airlift 1,000 blankets; 1,000 hygiene kits; and 1000 water containers into SVG.

Meanwhile, Prince said the Embassy and Permanent Mission of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Washington, D.C. has made contact with the Organization of American States; the Pan-American Development Foundation; the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to apprise them of the situation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and to seek their assistance.

`The nature of the assistance which we will receive from them will be forthcoming in the next few days,` said the ambassador.

Nationals and friends of SVG who wish to help can do so  by making contributions to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Disaster Relief Fund c/o National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), c/o the National Commercial Bank, Halifax Street – Account Number: 110776 Swift Code: NCB VVC 22 or through the St. Vincent and the Grenadines` Disaster Relief Fund in the USA – Consulate of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, JP Morgan Chase Bank Account, Number:00000072629939, Routing number: 021000021.

Tomas is expected to strengthen tomorrow from its present strength of 45 miles per hour winds. The storm was about 365 miles from Haiti and 505 miles from Kingston, Jamaica last night.

The storm has caused severe damage to several homes in Barbados while five people reportedly lost their lives in St. Lucia where Tomas also caused the village of Soufriere to be declared a disaster zone and  island`s banana industry to be totally wiped out.