September 26, 2017
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Caribbean News Now) — Twenty-six people, including 20 Trinidad and Tobago nationals, were evacuated on Sunday to Trinidad from territories affected by Hurricane Maria, coordinated by the Ministry of National Security and Caribbean Airlines.
Some people were located in impassable areas and some were collected and transported by the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force via helicopter in order to reach the pickup point for the flight. Two immigration officers were on hand to screen all returnees.
Trinidad and Tobago has been and continues to be instrumental in search and rescue and medevac of Dominicans as well as Trinidad and Tobago and other CARICOM nationals seeking assistance. Nine medical personnel were sent to Dominica on Sunday and they are being hosted by the TTDF.
In keeping with the prime minister’s announcement concerning citizens of Trinidad and Tobago wishing to accommodate friends and family from the hurricane-ravaged island of Dominica, persons or institutions wishing to assist should contact the ministry of foreign and CARICOM affairs. The ministry is assisting in evacuation efforts by providing this information to the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force to track and rescue nationals in affected territories.
Currently the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force has a 56-man team on the ground working alongside the government of Dominica and other regional and international military forces and NGOS to bring relief to the people of Dominica and return the country to normalcy.
Colonel Roger Carter who is leading the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force’s contingent of 22 soldiers, 24 sailors and 10 airmen has stated that it is going to be a long journey for them, as Dominica is virtually at a standstill, with all utilities down and most of the roads impassable due to fallen trees and debris.
Destruction left behind in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on the island of Dominica.
Photo credit: Ben Parker/IRIN