Two days after the passage of cyclone Fiona, Guadeloupe is facing extensive clean up operations amid efforts to reconnect water supplies and fix roads. The Minister for Overseas Terrirtories, Jean-François Carenco, is expected to visit the region in the coming days.
Three departmental roads remained impassable on Monday in Basse-Terre while the Rivière des Pères bridge, linking Basse-Terre to Baillif, was closed to traffic on Monday due to “significant structural damage”.
Part of the archipelago still had no drinking water, two days after the passage of cyclone Fiona.
The prefecture clarified in the evening that the “gradual return” of water distribution was continuing, thanks in particular to the provision of two cisterns from the national reserve in Basse-Terre and eleven additional cisterns in transit.
The Joint Water and Sanitation Management Union of Guadeloupe (SMGEAG) estimated on Sunday that nearly 151,000 subscribers were affected by water shortages due to the storm.
He also indicated that in several areas of the archipelago, “major works” would be necessary to restore the infrastructure.
The distribution of bottles of mineral water was being provided by the Red Cross, the prefecture said on Monday, adding that “about a hundred clients” were still without electricity and that 340 users did not have access to telephone connections due to damaged antennas.
“Eleven mobile antennas are still out of service,” it said.
Special relief fund
Most schools, closed Monday, are due to reopen today, but several mayors have warned that without running water, the reception of students would be impossible in some establishments.
The departmental emergency fund has been activated to “meet basic needs (mattresses, clothing, foodstuffs)”, Guy Losbar, president of the departmental council told the media.
The storm, which hit the Guadeloupe late last week, caused the death of a 54-year-old man, washed away with his house, overnight from Friday to Saturday.
In a tweet on Sunday, President Emmanuel Macron announced the unblocking of a special relief fund, promising that “a state of natural disaster will be recognised”.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Sunday morning that he will sign the recognition procedure for this summer “from the end of next week”.
The Minister for Overseas Territories, Jean-François Carenco, is due to go to Guadeloupe in the coming days.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency for Porto Rico, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide the country with assistance.
Cyclone Fiona knocked out power to the island on Sunday and torrential rains caused “considerable” damage, according to the authorities.
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