St. Vincent Schoolboy Killed as Tropical Storm Matthew Passes
On Thursday, a 16-yearold boy died after being crushed by a boulder as Tropical Storm Matthew passed over St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to local media reports, the secondary school student, Kenron Antoine, was trying to remove debris behind his home, to clear a path for water that was flooding the house in Layou, a small town in the south-western parish of St. Andrew. But a boulder rolled down from the nearby cliff and he was pinned against the house.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who is in Barbados, called in to the state-owned National Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday night and expressed sympathy to the boy’s family. He also assured that his government would assist those who needed help in the aftermath of the storm.
“I am very sorry about the death of the young man in Layou, and also those who have suffered any physical damage, and for those who have suffered loss . . . The authorities are working in a focused manner and we will mobilise the necessary resources, as we have always done, not just for this relief period but for the period of recovery and reconstruction,” he said.
“I want you to know that my prayers are with you. I’ve been praying for you, the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and I want you to know that I love you and I’m there with you and focused with you at this moment,” the Vincentian leader told residents.
Dr. Gonsalves was stuck in Barbados since Tuesday as he tried to return home from meetings in the United States and Puerto Rico, according to iWitness News.
Tropical Storm Matthew battered St. Vincent and the Grenadines with heavy rains and winds.
There were reports of landslides and rivers overflowing their banks, causing flooding and prompting some residents to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere. There were almost 300 people in emergency shelters. There were also power outages in some areas.
Tropical Storm Matthew’s heavy rains caused landslides, flooding, and overflowed rivers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The photo at left shows the situation at one bridge. (Photo credit: òjô Bäê via iWitness News) At right, occupants of this house escaped unhurt when a wall collapsed. (Photo credit: iWitness News)