Heavy rains lash Eastern Caribbean islands

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ROSEAU, Dominica — An unseasonal trough of low pressure brought heavy rains to the Eastern Caribbean, including Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Torrential rains on Christmas Eve caused severe flooding, damage to homes, roads and bridges on mainland St Vincent, leaving seven dead and nine families homeless.

Five persons from one family in Rose Bank died from a landslide, one in Byera and one in Vermont. Five persons are missing in the Buccament area.

The Building Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) and the Ministry of Transport and Works have reported several bridges and roads flooded and are continuing their assessments.

Fifty percent of consumers are without pipe-borne water as heavy rains have impacted the network.

At least one road in Dominica was cut off on Tuesday due to heavy rainfall and rock slides. No lives were reported to have been lost; however, some homes and property were extensively damaged.

In Saint Lucia, severe weather, land slippage and, in some cases, loss of commercial power adversely impacted LIME telecommunications services in some communities. Teams have been deployed to conduct damage assessment and restore full service.

“There’s some disturbed weather that is into our vicinity, and it’s going to be there for a few hours… which is going to result in some heavy rain, thunderstorms which could lead to some flooding,” St Kitts and Nevis national disaster coordinator Carl Herbert said on Tuesday morning.

He urged vehicle owners and pedestrians not to try to cross flowing ghauts.

The low pressure system is expected to spread unstable atmospheric conditions over the Eastern Caribbean for the next few days. Heavy or prolonged showers that could cause flash flooding in low lying areas have been forecast.

Seas are predicted to be moderate to rough with waves reaching heights of 5 – 7 ft or 1.5 – 2.1 m, and a small craft advisory remains in place for the Atlantic waters. A general decrease in wave height is however, expected over the next few days.

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