Tomas kills 14 in St Lucia, heads for Haiti

| 03/11/2010

(CNS): Updated Wednesday morning – Although Tomas, which has left a trail of destruction in St Lucia and fourteen people dead, had weakened to a depression on Wednesday morning, Jamaica remains under a hurricane watch and Haiti prepares for the worst. In St Lucia, Prime Minister Stephenson King declared a state of emergency and appealed for international assistance, local media reported. "Recovery efforts are very slow. Our efforts to get help to the ravished community have been weakened as a string of fires inhomes brings us to our knees," a firefighter in the capital Castries told the BBC. Meanwhile in Haiti, where 1.3 million people are still living in tents following the earthquake in January, preparations for a reformed Hurricane Tomas are underway. (Left: A main road in St Lucia)

Tomas is expected strengthen again to a hurricane and parts of Haiti are in its projected path for later in the week. Relief workers in Haiti were trying to gather emergency shelter, water and sanitation supplies. Imogen Wall, of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said warehouses in Haiti were being emptied of rope and tarpaulins to protect those in the camps. The US Navy ship Iwo Jima is heading toward Haiti to be on hand if emergency relief is needed, US officials said.

The St Lucia Star reports that when Minister for Communications Guy Joseph was asked to tell the nation some good news, the minister said he had none. Earlier in the day he had done an aerial assessment of the damage and he said it is “worse than we could think of”.

Some people in the south were still unreachable and accessing the west coast via the main road was impossible and this could remain this way for two to three weeks, the minister said, noting that there had been several landslides on the Barre d’Isle and that road was also in need of repair. "Sounding tired the minister went on to say that St Lucians should expect water problems as the Roseau dam was inaccessible," the Star reported.

At 7am local time Tomas was located around 305 miles SSE of Kingston with maximum sustained winds of around 35 mph. Tomas is moving WNW at 5mph. A turn toward the northwest, .north and north-northeast is still expected over the next 48 hours along with further strengthening. Local weather forecasters said that the storm poses no immediate threat to the Cayman Islands on its current track.

The local forecast calls for isolated showers with light to moderate easterly winds over the Cayman area with partly cloudy skies and a 30 % chance of a few showers and possible thunder. Temperatures will rise to the upper 80’s on Wednesday and winds will be east to northeast 5 to 10 knots. Seas will be slight with wave heights of 1 to 3 feet. The outlook is for moderate northwest winds and rough seas from Thursday evening as a new cold front approaches the southeast Gulf of Mexico.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    condolences to the families of deceased