The Prime Minister of Grenada, Dickon Mitchell, took to his social media account on September 7, 2022, to remember the 34 individuals who lost their lives to the nerve-wracking impacts of Hurricane Ivan.
The Prime Minister of Grenada took to his social media profile to mark the occasion of 18th Anniversary of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan. He wrote: “On this, the 18th Anniversary of Hurricane Ivan, let us take a moment to remember the 34 souls lost on September 7, 2004.”
Many among us still remember this day vividly. It had almost been 50 years since Grenada experienced a hurricane of similar magnitude, and it was hoped that the storm would turn north, as was often the case. The howling 120 mph (193 kph) winds of Hurricane Ivan descended on a largely unprepared Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Over 8 gruelling hours, our people held onto hope as the hurricane-force winds waged havoc on our society and economy.
In the wake of the catastrophic disaster, many Grenadians were left homeless, and more than 80 per cent of all buildings were damaged, including most schools. The destruction was estimated at US$900 million – twice our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The longstanding effects of the hurricane were also crippling. As a small island economy dependent on tourism and agriculture, the category 3 storm rendered nearly 70 percent of tourism infrastructure uninhabitable and considerably damaged our agricultural sector, especially the production of cocoa and nutmeg.
Hurricane Ivan was and continues to serve as an example for the Caribbean region on the importance of disaster preparedness and the need to bolster climate resilience and adaptation as small island states. As we reflect on the (18th) Anniversary of Hurricane
Ivan, let us also reflect on the lessons learnt.
He took the opportunity to caution the people of Grenada and outlined some of the steps that can be taken to make sure of the safety and security of the people of Grenada and their families
- Identify the shelter nearest to you.
- Stock essential supplies for yourself and your family.
- Cut overhanging trees.
- Keep insurance payments up to date.
The Prime Minister assured that the government continues to work with development partners to mitigate the effects of climate change and mobilise resources toward climate resilience and adaptation building.
Let us all do our part to prepare.