UPDATE: The deceased’s identity released. He is 16-year-old Kenron Antoine.
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Thursday September 29, 2016 – A teenage boy is dead after being crushed by a boulder as Tropical Storm Matthew passed St. Vincent and the Grenadines last night.
According to local media reports, the secondary school student, whose name has not yet been released, was trying to remove debris behind his home, to clear a path for water that was flooding the house in Layou, a small town in the southwestern parish of St. Andrew. But a boulder rolled down from the nearby cliff as he was doing so, and he was pinned against the house.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who is in Barbados, called in on the state-owned National Broadcasting Corporation late last night and expressed sympathy to the boy’s family.
He also assured that his government would assist those who needed help in the aftermath of the storm.
“I am very sorry about the death of the young man in Layou, and also those who have suffered any physical damage, and for those who have suffered loss . . . The authorities are working in a focused manner and we will mobilize the necessary resources, as we have always done, not just for this relief period but for the period of recovery and reconstruction,” he said.
“I want you to know that my prayers are with you. I’ve been praying for you, the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and I want you to know that I love you and I’m there with you and focused with you at this moment,” the Vincentian leader told residents.
Dr. Gonsalves has been struck in Barbados in Tuesday as he tried to return home from meetings in the United States and Puerto Rico last week, according to iWitness News.
Tropical Storm Matthew battered St. Vincent and the Grenadines with heavy rains and winds during the night.
There were reports of landslides and rivers overflowing their banks, causing flooding and prompting some residents to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere. There were almost 300 people in emergency shelters up to last night.
There were also power outages in some areas.
There will be no school for the rest of the week, and businesses and government offices will remain closed today. The E. T. Joshua Airport, which was flooded last night, also remains closed today.
However, the tropical storm warning that had been issued for St. Vincent and the Grenadines yesterday has been discontinued.