Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony has urged St. Lucians to take a moment to pay respect to the 14 persons who died as a result of Hurricane Thomas which swept through the island on this day two years ago, leaving over US$100 million in damages and many homeless.
Dr. Anthony made the call in a written statement, entitled “A Day Never To Be Forgotten”, in remembrance of the victims of Hurricane Tomas.
“Today marks the second anniversary of the passage of Hurricane Tomas. On that day, not only was the landscape of our beautiful island battered, but many families were left homeless, displaced, in pain and in sorrow, mourning loved ones,” the prime minister said.
“I urge Saint Lucians to take a moment to reflect on that sad day, paying our respects to the 14 lives which were lost during this unfortunate ordeal. The trauma of the people of Fond St Jacques and Columbette in Soufriere as well as other parts of Saint Lucia must remain etched in our minds. We must not forget them and their families. Let us also continue to share that spirit of love, concern and generosity which swept over our nation in the aftermath of Tomas,” he added.
Prime Minister Anthony said Tomas served as a test of “our faith, resilience and our collective humanity”.
“While we often argue that we should have been further with our efforts to rebuild our island, where we are now serves as a reminder of what we have survived as a nation. Many lives have not returned to normal, many homes will never be normal because of the loss of life, but as a people, we continue to reach within and look above for hope and strength to face each passing day. I encourage all Saint Lucians to participate, in their own special way, in the remembrance of October 30, 2010,” he said.
Hurricane Tomas was the 19th named storm and 12th hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Tomas developed from a tropical wave east of the Windward Islands on October 29, quickly intensifying into a hurricane, then moved through the Windward Islands and passed very near St. Lucia.
After reaching Category 2 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale, Tomas quickly weakened to a tropical storm in the central Caribbean Sea, due to strong wind shear and dry air. Tomas later regained hurricane status as it reorganized near the Windward passage.
Throughout the hurricane’s path, 71 people are known to have been killed, 14 of whom were in St. Lucia. Monetary losses throughout the Windward Islands were estimated at US$588 million, mainly in St. Lucia.
In the wake of the storm in Haiti, flooding intensified an ongoing cholera outbreak indirectly causing more fatalities. According to a report released in December 2010, 55 people were killed in Cuba and Hispanola, though the distribution of these fatalities are unknown.
Overall damage from the storm was at least $741 million.
SOURCES: Wikipedia/Office of the Prime minister