State of emergency declared following Tomas

CASTRIES, St. Lucia: Prime Minister Stephenson King has declared a state of emergency in St. Lucia, which suffered at least EC$100 million (US$37 million) in damage from the passage of Tomas last weekend.

Fourteen people have been confirmed dead as a result of the storm’s passage.

“We have already put out through NEMO (the National Emergency Management Organization) a declaration of a state of emergency which immediately triggers off our regional and international appeal, and so the international community will respond,” said King, adding that diplomats and ambassadors in New York, particularly at the United Nations, have been alerted and given instructions to begin mobilizing the international community for assistance to St. Lucia.

The French government has offered helicopter services to help find people missing since Tomas struck the island as a Category One hurricane last weekend.

A search and rescue has become a part of the recovery efforts since many people are believed to be under the rubble in the devastated southern town of Soufrière, which is currently inaccessible.

King said although the country has started the rebuilding process, it is a long way off from full recovery.


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