At this time, our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as they face a devastating event, while still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, April 9, La Soufriere Volcano made headlines when it erupted with great force, spewing a plume of ash 20,000 feet into the sky.
On Sunday, reports from NEMO (St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Emergency Management Organization) state, “Day #3 and everything looks like a battle zone. Dreary morning with the ash beginning to harden on the ground due to overnight showers. Many homes still without water and electricity.” Power outages are widespread throughout the region, and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has mobilized to support and house evacuees, following an evacuation order of the area around the volcano by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves.
The scientific team from the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre (SRC) has been constantly monitoring the volcano and rendering scientific advice to the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has been working alongside NEMO, the SRC, and the Regional Security System (RSS), providing technical assistance with Evacuation and Logistics Planning. Multiple cruise lines have arrived to transfer St. Vincent residents to safety on other islands, while following strict COVID-19 protocols.
The thousands of people who have been displaced from their homes will need food and proper housing. “We’re in this for the long haul; it’s not going to end overnight,” says Fitzgerald Huggins, the consul general of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Toronto.
Support and supplies are pouring in from around the globe. It’s this kind of collaboration and selfless volunteerism that saves lives and speaks to the very heart of a worldwide love for the Caribbean. The single question in everyone’s minds at this moment – How can I help?
*The Bermuda Red Cross has launched a disaster appeal for those affected by the volcano. Donations can be made at www.bermudaredcross.com
This month’s Business View Caribbean showcases visionary thinking from a diverse range of industries. Discover why Trinidadians trust the well-known AC specialists at Peake Technologies to keep them cool; why the Dachin Group of Companies excel in the entertainment, security, real estate, food & beverage sectors; why the Phoenix Group is a premier construction contractor in the Caymans; and how WiPay is becoming the leading online payment solutions provider across the Caribbean.
Health and wellness are uppermost priorities at Trinidad’s Caribbean Health Foods (manufactured with all natural ingredients), Lifespan Company (thirst-quenching pure spring water), and Andrews Memorial Hospital – blessed to serve the Kingston, Jamaica region. Meanwhile, in northern Trinidad, the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation is improving life for all its citizens, with a particular focus on incentivizing entrepreneurial pursuits and investing in affordable housing.
On the Hospitality front, we take a delightful visit to Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour Marina in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas and Van der Valk Plaza Beach Resort in beautiful Bonaire. Both of these outstanding getaway destinations are eagerly awaiting guests to come and experience a safe haven and all the joys of seaside adventures.
It’s our pleasure to bring you these stories of the businesses and people who care so much for their communities and the region at large. We hope you enjoy the read.
Lorie Lee Steiner
Editor in Chief