Supplies for St Lucia flood victims destroyed in mysterious fire

(Trinidad Express) Police are investigating the cause of a fire at the Red Cross building on the outskirts of the capital that destroyed items scheduled to be distributed to victims of the floods that devastated several parts of the island over the Christmas holidays.

The Red Cross confirmed the items including blankets, clothes, mattresses and comforters, had been placed in a storage facility within the building.

“There is no electricity in this little house so we have no idea how the fire started,” a Red Cross official said.

“The sad thing is that’s stuff to give out to people. My only guess is someone started the fire. I am so angry because I have seen the images out there and have heard the heartbreaking stories and I know how badly the people out there need these things,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the St Lucia Electricity Services Ltd (LUCELEC) said yesterday it had restored power to most of its customers except in some places in the southern part of the island where service could not be resorted due to landslides.

It said one of its sub-stations which had been affected by the flood waters should be back in service by today providing electricity to consumers mainly in the north of the island.

“LUCELEC wishes to publicly express its appreciation to its employees and contractors who worked through the rain and thunderstorms and in the aftermath to minimise disruptions to the electricity supply and to quickly restore the areas affected,” the company said in statement.

The two telecommunication companies, LIME and Digicel, said they had restored full service to their customers.

St Lucia had been battered by heavy rains and winds associated with a slow moving low level trough that caused widespread damage and has been blamed for several deaths.

The authorities said life was slowly returning to normal and Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus said despite the damage done to the island’s infrastructure the island was open to accommodate visitors.

The St Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) said the Hewanorra International Airport had re-opened and Theophilus said the docking of four mega cruise ships at Port Castries within 72 hours of the incident demonstrated the overall confidence in the island’s tourism product.

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