Grenada PM describes Beryl’s impact on Carriacou as ‘Armageddon’

Grenada PM describes Beryl’s impact on Carriacou as ‘Armageddon’

Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has described the devastation of hurricane ravaged Carriacou and Petite Martinique as reminiscent of the biblical Armageddon.

Mitchell toured Carriacou and Petite Martinique on a helicopter yesterday to get a firsthand view of Hurricane Beryl’s impact on the islands.

“Having seen the destruction myself, there is nothing that can really prepare you to see this level of destruction,” he said at a media briefing last evening.

Beryl made landfall on Carriacou on July 1 as a strong category four hurricane.

National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) Coordinator Dr Terence Walters said over 90 per cent of buildings on Carriacou and Petite Martinique are either damaged or destroyed.

Mitchell said it will be a long time before Carriacou and Petite Martinique recover both their natural environment and man-made infrastructure.

The prime minister has expressed gratitude to Grenadians, as well as regional and international volunteers and agencies, for promptly assisting islanders during their time of need.

An emergency meeting of cabinet was held last night, and a decision was taken to hold a national cleanup campaign on mainland Grenada from July 6.

“We are asking all citizens to come out, particularly in the northern parishes and to ensure that we clean up the destruction brought by the hurricane,” he said.

“Grenada belongs to us. It is for us to ensure that we take the lead in beginning to clean up our environment and in beginning to restore normalcy to our various villages. We Know it is not something that will happen overnight, but we certainly believe that in the next week to two and a half weeks we should have a complete clean up.”

Mitchell said the situation in Carriacou is “enormous” and will require a detailed plan.

A task force will be established to focus on cleaning up the island, which is 37.7 square kilometres in size.

The cabinet also agreed to create a task force, who will conduct a detailed assessment of loss and damage the country has suffered.

“We need to make sure that we record accurately the loss, the damage, and that we are able to quantify this, because it has significant implications for the economy of Grenada, for the government’s fiscal situation, and for some of our contractual obligations, liabilities, as well as benefits. As you are aware, Grenada does have a catastrophic risk insurance policy, and so we need to be able to determine whether we have reached the threshold to claim under this policy,” the prime minister said.

Mitchell stated the finance minister has also written to international lending agencies to trigger the suspension clause of loans due to the hurricane.

Another task force will be responsible for coordinating international and regional relief efforts.

  • PublishedJuly 3, 2024