SAINT LUCIA, 4 Nov – MapAction is responding to a request for help in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas in the Caribbean. Volunteer emergency mapper Kirsty Ferris flew out to Saint Lucia today, less than 24 hours after the government requested MapAction’s assistance with their disaster response operation.
Saint Lucia was the worst affected island as Tomas crashed through the Lesser Antilles chain. Fifteen people died as the hurricane caused devastation right across the island. Landslides have blocked many roads, cutting off many settlements including the town of Soufriere. Agriculture has been devastated, threatening rural livelihoods. A national disaster was declared as work has begun to bring humanitarian relief and commence recovery.
MapAction’s chief executive Nigel Woof said: “Tomas has dealt a severe blow to Saint Lucia. We’re pleased to be able to provide mapping support at the request of the National Emergency Management Organisation, which is moving quickly to get access to cut-off towns and villages and is commencing a comprehensive damage and needs assessment.”MapAction expects to utilise its volunteer team based in the Caribbean region to support its emergency mapping work in the wake of Hurricane Tomas. The charity has established relationships with a number of states in the region, including Saint Lucia, achieved through previous disaster response missions and international training projects.