Saturday, September 11, 2004

Hurricane Ivan

It was with a heavy heart that I searched the internet for news on the devistation that Hurricane Ivan wrought on Grenada in recent days. As you may know from our website, Heather and I went to Grenada last March to sail on the Yankee Clipper, a Windjammer boat. We spent our first day and a half in Grenada, touring around and becoming familiar with St. George's, the capital of Grenada.

This from the CDERA news report was particularly disturbing:
"Nine of every ten buildings are damaged or destroyed. Virtually every school and church in the Capital St Georges as well as the police headquarters has been destroyed. The only two buildings in reasonable condition are the Grenada General Hospital and Government Headquarters."
We visited the Anglican church while in St. George's and took several pictures. Now, the roof is missing and the church is gutted. Also, the soccer stadium outside of the capital was heavily damaged (see http://stormcarib.com/reports/2004/jpg00469.jpg for a picture.)

The ship that we were on took refuge in Trinidad. The crew appears to be ok, but at least one crew member's house is completely destroyed, although his family is safe. With 90% of the buildings destroyed, well over 80% of the islands 100,000 population are assumed to be homeless. Electricity isn't expected to be restored for three to six months. The prison was destroyed and all of the prisoners escaped. There was looting in the streets. There no food and no fresh water, not to mention no shelter. The islands two largest industries, tourism and nutmeg production are gone. These people are in desparate need of help and the situation is likely to be bad for quite some time.

Although I feel bad for the Floridians who lost property during their recent hurricanes, at least most of them had insurance. They have food to eat and a place to sleep, even if it is in a temporary shelter. I think the worst thing I saw was a lady the day after Hurricane Frances struck standing outside some store. She was pointing at the store complaining that it wasn't open for business. I wanted to yell "They evacuated, you idiot! You should have too! Why are you still here?" Even though Florida is a mess, it's nothing compared to the devistation that Ivan inflicted on Grenada.

1 comment:

Annie said...

From another Windjammer cruiser, thanks so much for the update on the Yankee Clipper -- I'm so glad to hear they're all ok.