Hur­ri­cane-hit Guyanese re­turn from St Maarten

-to­tal to be evac­u­ated at 116 and ris­ing

Stabroek News - - LETTERS -

Six­teen more hur­ri­cane-af­fected na­tion­als re­turned to Guyana on Tues­day on Trans Guyana Air­ways.

They ar­rived from the Dutch­con­trolled St Maarten and de­planed at the Eu­gene F. Cor­reia In­ter­na­tional Air­port at Ogle, the Depart­ment of Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion (DPI) said.

Ten had ar­rived from the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands on Mon­day night and more were due last evening.

Min­is­ter of State, Joseph Har­mon said that the joint ef­fort be­tween the gov­ern­ment, pri­vate sec­tor and Civil De­fence Com­mis­sion along with sev­eral lo­cal cit­i­zens aims to as­sist Guyanese in the se­verely dam­aged ter­ri­to­ries.

“We be­lieve that any­where Guyanese are, and any­thing be­falls them, once it is in the power of the state to do some­thing for them, that we will ex­tend a wel­com­ing arm,” Har­mon said, ac­cord­ing to DPI.

He added that sev­eral other flights will be sent to other hur­ri­cane-rav­aged ter­ri­to­ries to as­sist

Guyanese who have in­di­cated their need to re­turn home. “…I be­lieve we were work­ing with 43 per­sons and that num­ber rose to 116, to­mor­row it will be even larger than that,” he said.

The Cor­reia Com­pany was com­mended for its co-op­er­a­tion in dis­patch­ing flights to those ter­ri­to­ries.

DPI spoke to sev­eral of the evac­uees.

Arita Woodroffe said, she chose to re­turn, be­cause as a cos­me­tol­o­gist her op­er­a­tion has been se­verely af­fected due to a lack of elec­tric­ity and wa­ter. Schools have also not restarted, as such, she plans to en­roll her daugh­ter in a lo­cal in­sti­tu­tion.

Yash­paul Sew­nar­ine ex­plained that he was a tourist but was un­able to leave be­fore the storm landed. He de­scribed the ex­pe­ri­ence as har­row­ing.

“I have seen moth­ers look­ing for chil­dren, I saw per­sons los­ing their houses, friends lost their lives, so it was a rough sit­u­a­tion over there.”

Alita Khand­hai, a mother of two, ex­plained that she lived in St Maarten for seven years and while she has ex­pe­ri­enced two pre­vi­ous hur­ri­canes, the re­cent one has been the worst. Her re­turn is in the in­ter­est of her two daugh­ters and their school­ing.

Fifty-five-year-old, Keith Phillips has resided on the is­land for 17 years and it was his first hur­ri­cane ex­pe­ri­ence. “I do not want an­other ex­pe­ri­ence like it. I am happy to be home”, he told DPI.

(DPI photo)

Joseph Har­mon, Min­is­ter of State (third from left) and other of­fi­cials wel­com­ing Keith Phillips and other evac­uees as they dis­em­bark the plane.

Alita Khand­hai and one of her two daugh­ters (DPI photo)

Arita Woodroffe, evac­uee (DPI photo)

Yash­paul Sew­nar­ine, evac­uee (DPI photo)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Guyana

© PressReader. All rights reserved.