KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – A fourth form secondary school student died Wednesday night after he was crushed by a boulder as he tried to alleviate flooding in his home during the passage of Tropical Storm Matthew.
Police have not released the name of the student of the Buccament Bay Secondary School, and Deputy Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Michelle Forbes, has made a very strong appeal for persons to remain vigilant as drains and rivers have overflown their banks dumping debris and other materials on the roads making some of them impassable.
A resident of the Central Leeward town said the teenager was crushed when he attempted to clear debris behind his home that was being flooded.
The house is located close to a rocky cliff and reports are that the boulder had become lose, pinning the student against the wall of the concrete house, killing him instantly.
Meanwhile, in Buccament Bay, a neighbouring village in Central Leeward, several people abandoned their homes and sought refuge in emergency shelters as the river nearby again overran its bank.
Police officers, including members of the Rapid Response Unit, where at the Buccament Bay Secondary School around 10 p.m (local time) helping to transport persons to the official emergency centre.
Assistant Superintendent of Police, Enville Williams, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the police were there to help to save lives as an estimated 25 people left their homes for the shelter.
In 2013, the river was responsible for the deaths of several people after heavy rains caused by the passage of the Christmas Eve trough system caused widespread flooding.
There were reports of flooding in a number of areas, as well as landslides and power outages.
The state-owned Agency for Public Information (API) said late Wednesday night that there have been confirmed reports of flooding in Vermont, South Rivers, sections of Kingstown, Campden Park, Arnos Vale, including the E.T. Joshua Airport, Langley Park and Buccament.
In addition, NEMO has received confirmed reports of damage to several homes, landslides and blocked roads.
The Central Water and Sewage Authority (CWSA) has reported that Hermitage River has risen by 1.10 metres in the last hour and as a precautionary measure, the CWSA turned off all of their water systems.
Schools will remain closed for the rest Thursday.
NEMO is urging residents not to go sightseeing as emergency services will be responding to reports and roads have been impacted by landslides and flooding.
Meanwhile, forecasters at the E.T. Joshua Airport said late Wednesday that a tropical storm warning remains in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are likely to affect the country — in this case, during the next 24 hours.
Matthew was now moving towards the west at 15miles per hour and a further decrease in forward speed is expected during the next few days. But it is expected to strengthen and become a hurricane by Fridy.
Forecasters say Matthew will continue to produce moderate to heavy showers, thunderstorms and gusty storm force winds across St. Vincent Wednesday night into Thursday.