St. Vincent & Grenadines

Deadly rains in St.Vincent and the Grenadines

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News and Press Release
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Originally published
On Friday, September 19, 2008, as a result of the passage of a tropical wave, St Vincent and the Grenadines was drenched by heavy rains which resulted in one (1) death, island wide flooding and landslides which left many roads blocked.

The heavy rains began at about 2.00am and continued for approximately the next twenty four hours. By 6.00am residents were reporting houses being flooded out, rivers overflowing bridges and landslides in several areas of the country. All schools were closed by midday on Friday.

In the area of Ratho Mill, a huge retaining wall collapsed unto the Windward Highway resulting in complete blockage of the area. An operation was started to clear the road. Later it was reported that there may have been the possibility that a vehicle or vehicles were buried under several hundred tons of debris. What started as a clean-up operation was converted to a full scale Search and Rescue (SAR) operation. Heavy duty operators were unable to reach the wreckage until 7.00pm. A flattened car was removed its lone female occupant was pronounced dead by the Coroner who was at the scene.

SAR operation continued until midnight when it was called off due to more rains and the unstable nature of the damaged walls that were left standing. The operation continued at day break. However, there were no more vehicles under the rubbles.

A total of 25 landslides were reported and 11 blockages of roads. Ten houses were reported flooded on Friday and four remain under flood waters. One house was destroyed by a landslide and there were reports of scores of collapsed retaining walls.

By midday Saturday September 20, 2008 most roads have been cleared or partially cleared. Assessment of the damaged roads and bridges are being undertaken. Damage assessment is also continuing in other areas to ascertain the full extent of impact of the rains.