RRT St Vincent – Disaster and Relief Efforts

On Tuesday night, December 24th, 225mm of rain fell on St. Vincent & the Grenadines over only a few hours resulting in flash floods and loss of life.

 While the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) mobilized, RRT also mobilized and provided meals and 50 beds for persons sheltered in an emergency centre on Wednesday evening.

About 240 persons were placed in emergency shelters as they had lost their homes and all their possessions. As one Vincentian put it “We simply had to run for our lives. There was no time to grab anything, not even our mobile phones”.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

A house where 5 people died from a landslide.

Not only had the storm extensively damaged housing and infrastructure island-wide, but several persons were missing (now confirmed as 9 dead, and 4 still missing). There was also an urgent need for clothing, and other supplies, so the PBCC helped NEMO with this.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

Helping to re-erect a section of the airport fence.

Water flooded through the main airport, and throughout Tuesday night the PBCC assisted the airport staff and emergency crews to sweep out the water, mud and debris, and repair the airport fence. Refreshments were provided there at 1am Wednesday – the airport was able to re-open by 3pm that day.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

Removing muddy water from areas of the airport.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

Handing out food for those helping to clean the airport.

Flooding through the main hospital had damaged US $326 000 worth of equipment and forced some areas of the hospital to be evacuated. RRT set to work on Wednesday afternoon helping the hospital staff with clean-up operations.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

Removing muddy water from areas of the main hospital.

75% of the island’s population had no access to reticulated water supply. Pipes carrying water from mountain reservoirs to several communities, including many Emergency Centers, had been severely damaged by landslides. 28 bridges were badly damaged, which together with the landslides, resulted in some rural areas being cut off in the north of the island. The population needed water, and fast! Over the next 10 days, local businesses and individuals assisted with distributing bottled water as well as water in tanks to the affected areas. The PBCC distributed over 800 cases of bottled water and 100,000 liters of tank water – some of it had being boated to areas which were cut off by road. Relief efforts continued until Saturday 12th of January, when all areas had water services restored.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

People lining up for water.

The government of St.Vincent has received generous offers of assistance to rebuild from other countries including the UK and Trinidad and Taiwan. They have formulated a proposal to relocate 300+ families whose houses were affected, which is a long term project expected to cost USD $17million. The three hydro power stations that supply 20% of St. Vincent’s electricity are out of commission due to the floods, for up to 3 months. Electricity supply is being maintained by the diesel power stations. Various government organizations are working to repair the roads and bridges and return the country to normality. Many Vincentians living overseas and other unselfish persons in St.Vincent also contributed to the relief efforts.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

RRT Distribute much needed water

9 thoughts on “RRT St Vincent – Disaster and Relief Efforts”

  1. Alexa says:

    Yes to all, and also there were visitors from other countries visiting. A little 2 year old girl from Canada was swept away in the torrent. They found her body several days later. Such a grief! A lot of suffering there! Prayers still needed for those homeless and bereaved.

    1. Alon says:

      Thanks Alexia, I gather u mean ‘yes’ to all my questions about Xmas eve? Has there been any more missing ones accounted for? It would be very difficult not knowing what has happened to a loved one. Our thoughts and prayers are with all.

  2. Brian says:

    We’ve just had a brother across to the UK, he was telling us that prisoners in jail readily accept Gospel Tracts – especially when the Brethren have been taking them water for 3 weeks!!

    A fantastic way to display Christian giving, and spread the Gospel.

  3. Alon says:

    Just re-read the info as to this disaster and realised it would have happened on Xmas eve. Is this a national holiday in St Vincent & The Grenadines? If it is, would that mean more folks were at home and most public facilities would have ceased operations for a few days?

  4. Lea says:

    Thankyou for helping. Where did RRT get the water from?

  5. spark says:

    Good work all around the world ..even in a small place.

  6. WAY TO GO ST. VINCENT says:

    I had heard about this flooding in the news, and I thought to myself, wow, just a small island, but it affects a LOT of people. It is good to see RRT helping out here…..again, GOOD JOB ST. VINCENT RRT!

  7. EXCELLENT work all you RRT’ers over there – thanks for posting this article. It’s amazing to think of the support you’re being to all those poor homeless, water-less folks. Keep it up – we’re thinking of you all.

  8. manalive man says:

    this is awesome, @ least u have hot weather unlike our ice to work in!!!
    well done!!

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