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‘Deep sorrow’ from OAS over EC rainstorm deaths

The Organisation of American States (OAS) expressed “deep sorrow” yesterday over the loss of lives and severe damage caused by unseasonably heavy rainfall that battered Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, expressed his “sincere condolences” to the governments and the peoples of the affected countries on their loss and assured them the Washington-based hemispheric body “stands in solidarity” with them at this very difficult time.
“This is very bad news, even more that it has occurred on Christmas Day. The unseasonable nature of the heavy rains and flooding raises once again the impact of climate change in the Caribbean region,” he said in a statement.
The OAS Secretary General said he would shortly convene other agencies within the Inter-American system to “mobilise a hemispheric response to the debilitating effects of what is becoming known as the Christmas Day rains in the southern Eastern Caribbean”.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines, several communities remained cut-off yesterday, as nationals continue to count their human and material losses as a result of the slow-moving, low-level trough that battered the island for more than 48 hours.
Unconfirmed reports said the bodies of two people had been found and the search was still continuing for at least two other people reported missing.
To date, there have been nine confirmed deaths from the floods associated with the heavy rains and winds that began battering the island on Christmas Eve.
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) reported several communities remain cut-off due to damaged bridges and blocked roads.
Electricity and other services were being gradually restored in St Lucia. —CMC
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