By Nedburn Thaffe – In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Premier Dr. D Orlando Smith called on residents of the territory to come together and rebuild, noting that the British Virgin Islands has suffered immensely.
“There can be no sugar coating; there has been almost total devastation of homes and businesses as each and every one of us has suffered some loss. Assessments shall be made as soon as possible, but I can tell you that our beloved territory has suffered greatly. I call on all our friends near and far to join heart and hands to help us to rebuild,” the Premier said in a statement issued last evening.
While assuring residents that the BVI will overcome the tragedies brought about by the category 5 hurricane, he said the experience has brought out the resilience of the territory’s people.
“This experience reinforces the fact that we are indeed a resilient people and we shall overcome this too. It also reinforces that we are one BVI and as one BVI we will rebuild our country.
The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) is functioning and plans are in place for rescue and shelter operations and food and supplies commission; even as we continue to assess the extent of our loss,” he said.
“In the meantime, let us stay strong as a people. Let us help each other in this immediate period of loss. But most importantly let us stay focused on the huge task ahead of rebuilding our country.But I thank God that most of our lives are spared and we know where there is life there is hope.”
Premier Smith described the hurricane as “the most serious hurricane in the living history of the BVI and the region”.