(RJRNews) The death toll from flooding in several Eastern Caribbean states has now risen to 18 and several other persons are still missing in the three most affected states – St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia and Dominica.
A powerful weather system swept across the islands on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving a trail of destruction and loss. Heavy and prolonged rainfall caused by a trough, with strong winds turning in a counter-clockwise direction, resulted in devastating flooding which damaged homes, collapsed bridges and triggered power outages.
In St. Vincent & The Grenadines, emergency rescue teams said they had recovered seven bodies, including those of a two-year-old boy and his 18-year-old sister.
Several communities remained cut-off on Thursday as Vincentians continue to count their human and material losses.
Unconfirmed reports said that the bodies of two more persons had been found and the search was continuing for at least two other people reported missing.
In Dominica, eight persons were reported to have died, while three persons were killed in St. Lucia. Previous reports had said five people had died in St. Lucia.
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, is expected back in his country today after cutting short a visit to Europe.
Dr. Gonsalves, who had gone to Rome and met with Pope Francis, and was spending the Christmas holidays in London, will now return on Thursday, instead of Saturday.