Monday, November 01, 2010

Tomas Weakens After Battering Some Parts Of The Caribbean

November 1, 2010 CaribWorldNews, MIAMI, FL, Mon. Nov. 1, 2010: Hurricane Tomas was last night forecast to weaken in strength over the next day or two after leaving a trail of property damage in at least three Caribbean nations.

In Barbados, reports indicate the some 50 houses were damaged by the storm that tore through the island, especially St. Peter`s parish, early Saturday morning. St. Vincent`s Ambassador to the U.S., La Celia Prince, said in a statement last night, it has been confirmed that more than 600 houses were damaged in St. Vincent and the Grenadines either partially or in their entirety.

At present 1,194 people are currently housed in emergency shelters throughout the island and there is over-crowding in some of these shelters, the statement added. No confirmed loss of lives was reported as of last night but there were reports of power and telephone outage in several parts of the islands. However, it has been reported that two fishermen from the Stubbs area who went to sea on Friday are still missing.

There has been extensive damage on the northern side of mainland St. Vincent, the ambassador said, adding that many trees have fallen, blocking roadway access to some communities.

The E.T. Joshua airport will remain closed until further notice. Present and impending landslides have resulted in certain areas being declared disaster zones including from Park Hill to Owia and from Belisle to Fitz-Hughes.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, is appealing for international aid and so far USAID has made an emergency commitment of US$50,000 and the Government of Taiwan, an emergency commitment of US $250,000.

Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility said yesterday that the Category 1 Hurricane caused `substantial government losses in Barbados, Saint Lucia and St Vincent & the Grenadines.`

Officials said Barbados endured the biggest actual loss as it is a significantly bigger economy than the other two, as well as the biggest loss relative to GDP -just over 1.5 percent, due largely to the fact that near-hurricane force winds affected the entire island and due also to high coastal exposure.

Both Saint Lucia and St Vincent & the Grenadines endured modeled losses of around half of one percent of GDP, the CCRF said.

The agency added that preliminary calculations show payouts of US$8.5 million for Barbados, US$3.2 million for Saint Lucia and US$1.1 million for St Vincent & the Grenadines will be made on November 13th or after, with the National Hurricane Centre data available at that time used as input to the loss model.