Friday, September 10, 2004

Damage Reports From Grenada

We have received some reports from the island of Grenada (Gren-Ay-da).
Grenada was one of the earliest islands to be struck by Hurricane Ivan. It
has volcanic mountains, and what used to be lush valleys and pristine
beaches. Now, 90% of the structures on the island have been destroyed. The
historic jail was destroyed and all the prisoners escaped. Ir is now without
electric, water and food.

Here is a report from a relative of one storm victim living on Grenada:

I just heard from one of my brothers in Grenada. My entire family is alive
and were not physically injured in any way. Every family member lost the
roof on their house, and some structural damage to some of the houses. My
brother said that they are very lucky. He said 80,000 people are homeless.
He used to be able to sit on his verandah and see houses beneath his house,
now all he sees is flat land, and "trees sticking out of the ground like
toothpicks" (his words). The major concern right now is for water. He
anticipates a shortage soon, and also suspects that gas will run out soon
too, making it impossible to boil water and cook food.

He said that all of the supermarkets have been looted and there is no food
available. He has urged me to send supplies which I am preparing to do. He
specified that I send camping goods, namely a cooking stove, gas ( I checked
but my shipper will not except gas as it is a dangerous good and will delay
the shipment), food staples (rice, pasta, etc), dry-cell batteries,
flashlights, lanterns etc. The major need is for food right now.

He said he can't see electricity returning for another 3 MONTHS and laughed
at the idea that it could be restored in days. He drove through Belmont and
every single electricity and telephone pole was down and he knows it is
worse in other areas of the island. In his words, this was worse that Janet
and the current situation is about to become a way of life for a while. He
is concerned about the health risks - the inability for people to boil water
because of gas shortages; the lack of garbage collection which means that
debris and trash will pile up.

-A. Francis

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