Heavy losses for Martinique; Eastern Caribbean reopens after Dean
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, August 20, 2007 - The English-speaking Eastern Caribbean is back in business Monday after successfully weathering the killer hurricane Dean at the weekend, but Martinique was not so fortunate.
The hurricane took eight lives in five islands and left a US$200m scar on Martinique where there has been extensive infrastructural and agricultural damage.
Airlines resumed flights at weekend to Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, and Montserrat which were all shutdown to weather the powerful hurricane.
In St Lucia, where an elderly man died while trying to rescue an animal, roads have been cleared of landslides, power restored to homes and businesses and the airports in the north and south are open.
|Impact at a glance
St Lucia - fallen electricity poles, disabled bridges and several roof damages. The banana sector was severely damaged. One person was reported killed.
Martinique - torrential rainfall caused flooding throughout the island. Entire banana crop destroyed as well as 70% of sugar cane plantations. Damage estimated at USD $200 million. One person died, although it is unclear whether the death was related to Dean.
Dominica - 100 to 125 homes damaged. Agriculture sector extensively damaged. Two persons died.
Dominican Republic - relatively little rain or wind. One boy was killed and 20 houses damaged and 5 destroyed on the southern coast.
Haiti - No major flooding was reported, four people were killed and 10 were injured. Some homes were destroyed and several were damaged by winds, especially on the South /South-East.
Trinidad - sea swells on the east coast killed two people
Jamaica - power, water, and telecommunications outage in some parts.
Director of Tourism Maria Fowell said American Eagle had resumed flights to George F. L. Charles Airport with additional services scheduled to move delayed passengers between San Juan, Puerto Rico and the island.
The tourism plant suffered no significant damage said Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Senator Allen Chastanet.
Two people died in Dominica when their home was swept away in one of about a dozen landslides in this mountainous country. The government has reported that the roads have been cleared and there was minimal damage to road infrastructure and agricultural crops.
National disaster coordinator, Cecil Shillingford, said several roads were being cleared of landslides.
Several rural villages were without water and electricity but the utility companies were working around the clock to restore service.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit declared Sunday, August 19, 2007 as a national day of prayer and thanksgiving.
While Trinidad in the far southern Caribbean was not directly affected by Dean's winds or rains, waves generated by the hurricane claimed the lives of a couple who went to the coast to secure a boat.
Barbados suffered minimal damage in a northern part of the tiny island. Apart from that, it was business as usual.
Martinique hit hard
Reports monitored on Radio Martinique said that one person died of a heart attack though it was not certain whether it could be linked to the hurricane.
The entire banana crop of the island has been wiped out, 70% of the sugar cane planations gone and the southern part of the island, which was exposed to the strongest winds of the hurricane, was "totally devastated".
People are without electricity, water, telephone, and food. People are said to be looting stores and bakeries.
Workers from power utility companies in Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and France have arrived to help restore electricity to the 60% of the island.
There is widespread flooding and almost every road is blocked by fallen trees and other debris.
Four people were killed in Haiti and 111 houses were damaged and 244 destroyed especially in south/south-east sector.
Jamaica awaits daylight
Hurricane Dean moved away from Jamaica Sunday night and authorities will start an assessment Monday morning.
The Office for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management has reported varying degrees of damage across the island. It reported substantial wind damage, storm surge and flooding in the parishes of St Thomas, Portland, St Mary, and St Catherine; severe wind damage and flooding in St James, the capital Kingston, and St Andrew; and flooding in Clarendon.
There have been no official reports of deaths.
The Cayman Islands is bracing for Dean's impact expected to be similar to Hurricane Ivan in 2004 because the hurricane will pass south the islands which will unleash the strongest winds as it did in Martinique.
Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan said he was planning for the worst but hoping for the best.
“There will be a strong police presence before, during and after any storm activity. We will be out in force making sure that those involved in misconduct or criminal activity are dealt with appropriately,” he said.