In Guadeloupe, the overseas minister visits the victims of Fiona

In Guadeloupe, the overseas minister visits the victims of Fiona

After Storm Fiona passed, water and mud rose to a head in homes in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, whose victims received the visit of the overseas minister delegate, Jean-François Carenco, on Thursday.

The minister, who had come to show the “government’s support” for the victims of Fiona, like the rest of the delegation, was out in high rubber boots to make headway in the mud that had seeped into the houses of the Rivière des Pères neighborhood.

Ninette Lacroix, 65, retired, was able to tell the minister about her experience as he entered the family home where her father and sister live.

“They were expecting the sea, waves,” she explains, pointing to the other side of the road, beyond which the Caribbean Sea stretches. “But since the river mud was so high, they had to balance on a bed.”

Residents say they rely on the Overseas Solidarity Fund to compensate uninsured victims.

But the city’s mayor, André Atallah, addresses a problem: “The relocation assistance fund does not affect owners”. “Of course, people here are very often uninsured, but they are owners. We’ll see if we can get an exception to this decree,” he hinted.

Near the marina of Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, after the passage of storm Fiona, September 17, 2022 (AFP – Lara Balais)

“It’s still difficult to sum up the needs, we haven’t really finished the damage assessment yet,” emphasizes Victoire Jasmin, Senator from Guadeloupe, who, together with the Minister, visited the victims of the disaster, while the President of the Ministry, Guy Losbar , called for a “major reconstruction plan” for Guadeloupe that would cost “more than a billion euros”.

A commission of experts was dispatched to assess the damage to bridges and roads on the island. Landslides happened a bit all over the mountain roads.

In the near future, collections of clothes, mops, school supplies and food will be organized by associations or municipalities.

Tropical Storm Fiona, which became a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, hit Guadeloupe over the weekend with high winds, torrential rain and flooding that killed one person.

“This is where the house was taken,” shouted several residents as the convoy of ministers passed what was left of the house: a tiled platform covered in mud.

“Can we be silent here for a minute to meditate?” Jean-François Carenco asks the audience in front of the house where the man died.

A natural disaster order is due to be issued later this week, the minister said.


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