Vincentian PM appeals for aid

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is appealing to regional and international leaders for assistance to rebuild the small Caribbean island, which was hit by Hurricane Tomas recently.

He said the islands have suffered severe damages, estimated more than EC$100 million (physical damage) with a further estimated of $25 million in damage to the agriculture sector.

The prime minister said half of the northern island area was badly hit where most of the crops are located.

“There are no banana tress standing and plantain crops have stumbled out of their roots under the force of Tomas and our agriculture system is totally devastated,” he told reporters.

He noted that the banana industry employed more than 60 percent of the workforce on the island and accounted for more than 50 percent of the country’s goods exported.

Gonsalves said there are approximately 1,200 houses that have been damaged and outside the city, the rural communities are without water and electricity.

However, he said the utilities should be fully restored in about five days.

St. Vincent is seeking the assistance of heads of states and monetary organizations including the World Bank, the European Union, Cuba, Venezuela and as far as the Republic of China.

More from Around NYC