The Saint Lucia Red Cross has expressed concern over a communication blackout in hurricane devastated Dominica, saying that the organisation has been unable so far to obtain any information from that country.
Red Cross Director General, Terencia Gaillard, told St Lucia Times Tuesday that several unsuccessful attempts have been made to contact officials in Dominica.
“This is the first time in my experience – not hearing anything, so everybody is really concerned that it might be very, very bad,” she stated.
“Several companies in Saint Lucia with business interests in Dominica have not been able to contact their people. Our regional office out of Trinidad was not able to assist because all communication lines in Dominica are down,” Gaillard explained.
According to the Red Cross official, the information being obtained from Ham Radio Operators is very ‘sketchy’.
Gaillard noted that a lot of the operators lost their antennas, which further hampers communication.
“I know of satellite phones – there is a non-Saint Lucian person in Dominica who has one and the office here in Saint Lucia cannot even get in touch with her,” Gaillard told St Lucia Times.
She said the situation affects her organisation in it efforts to determine the extent of the damage to the Island and its needs.
The Saint Lucia Red Cross Director General told St Lucia Times that despite the inability so far to communicate with Dominica, her organisation has been collecting non-perishable items, water and medication to send to the Island on Thursday.
“There is a Dominican Captain here with three boats – he brought the boats in to shelter from the storm and he is getting ready to go back home to Dominica on Thursday and he has offered to take whatever supplies we have,” Gaillard disclosed.
Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, said in a Facebook post as the storm ravaged his country, that the damage to the Island from Hurricane Maria was ‘mind boggling.’