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Was Last Week’s Christmas Storm As Serious As Hurricane Tomas?

Above: Hurricane Tomas in 2011

Was last weeks devastating trough system in the Eastern Caribbean cause more devastation than Hurricane Tomas?

For now, the trough system, which caused serious damage in St Lucia, St Vincent and Dominica, is being considered by some to be at least on par with the 2010 hurricane, and possibly worse.

Tomas led to the deaths of 14 people in St Lucia and more than 70 across the region; thus far the storm, which caused 171.1mm of rainfall in a 24-hour period, has caused five deaths in St Lucia.

“There is no doubt that people tell you that this is more serious than Tomas,” said St Lucia Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony. “Tomas was a combination of water and heavy winds. The fact that a bridge at Piaye was damaged or for that matter a bridge in Canaries was damaged, in the minds of the persons there, that was more serious than Tomas.”

St Lucia has already begun recovery work to rebuild damaged infrastructure on the island.

“When I talk to residents in my constituency who suffered a lot of flooding, in some instances as high as six feet, they swear that it was more serious than Tomas,” Anthony said. “It may also be the case that there were very special factors in Vieux Fort that led to that situation.”

The Prime Minister cautioned, however, that the devastation on the island was not as widespread as the 2011 storm, but was “isolated and in some instances to the communities near the rivers.”

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