Prime Minister Doctor Kenny Anthony, just back from a visit to storm-ravaged Dominica, told a news conference this afternoon that the people of the nature Isle will face “unimaginable trauma” as they recover from the weather system which resulted in an estimated 35 deaths.
Anthony said the last major hurricane to hit Dominica claimed thirty-four lives, making the death toll from tropical storm Erika a record.
The Saint Lucia leader, who joined his Dominica counterpart Roosevelt Skerritt for an aerial tour of the devastation, disclosed that Skerritt had indicated that three or four communities in the interior are not being reached because they are impassable.
“They are having challenges to be able to clear the roads to reach those communities,” Anthony told the news conference.
He disclosed that the Dominica government was “compelled” to evacuate some 700 persons from the community of Petite Savanne which had been devastated by landslides, and asserted that the challenge facing the storm ravaged Island is huge.
According to Anthony, apart from repair to infrastructure, including some fifteen bridges that were lost, the 700 persons from an estimated 400 households will have to be resettled necessitating the construction of 400 homes.
While asserting that it would take time for Dominica to recover, he felt that the Island was slowly on its way there but would require help, including supplies to meet the immediate needs of those affected by the storm including food and clothing.
Anthony praised the response of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM, and the international community, and made a special appeal to Saint Lucians to continue helping Dominica.
He said in addition to material assistance, Dominicans need psychological support.
In this regard, Anthony noted that the people of the battered Island are thankful and feel strengthened by the support of the rest of the region.
The Prime Minister revealed that he will be meeting with Cabinet to discuss what further assistance Saint Lucia can give.