AUGUST 28st, 2004


Report on Tropical Storm Earl
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Grenada is seeking financial and technical assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help improve on its damage assessment and shelter improvement plans.

That's according to Disaster Co-ordiantor Sylvan McIntyre who was speaking to reporters during a news conference held at the Ministerial Complex building in the Botanical Gardens Tuesday. McIntyre, along with Tourism Minister Brenda Hood, a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) met with the media to provide a "Situation Report" following the passage of Tropical Storm Earl on August 15.

He disclosed that when their plan was put to work during the storm, they had identified some weaknesses noting however that there is no perfect system. McIntyre pointed out that structures are being put into place to correct those gray areas as well as that of their response mechanism and the way they share information to the public.

The Disaster Co-ordinator gave assurances however that the necessary structures are in place in the country to deal with disasters such as hurricanes and storms. A damage assessment team is still to provide details as it relates to the costs to property and crops following the passage of the storm. According to the Situation Report, 12 roofs were blown off, 3 partly blown off, there were over 12 fallen trees, 6 downed electrical poles, 9 landslides as well as 3 rock falls on the mainland. On the sister isle of Carriacou 6 roofs were blown off while 13 were partly blown off. Flooding were said to have been reported in areas such as River Road, Beausejour in St. George's North West as well as parts of Carriacou.

The Report said that some home owners who had suffered damage started their own repairs while two have sought urgent assistance from the National Emergency Relief organisation (NERO). McIntyre believes that the damage suffered due to the passage of the storm was as a result of poorly constructed houses. He is of the view that this should give citizens something to think about as it relates to construction guidelines set out by the Department of Planning.

Member of the NAC, Tourism Minister Brenda Hood who spoke at the news conference is calling for better communication between the disaster office and the local community. She spoke of the Council making attempts to reach a number of companies such as the Grenada Electricity Services Ltd. (GRENLEC), National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) as well as some of the other communications companies on the island but were unable to do so.

Hood believes situations like these must be corrected immediately since in the event of a national emergency there must be some means whereby utility companies can be reached. The NAC committee member disclosed that they intend to strengthen the body to include more organisations such as the media, solid waste and public utilities.

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