TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, British West Indies, Sep 08, 2008 - The Turks
and Caicos Islands Tourist Board is pleased to announce that Hurricane
Ike has passed completely and tropical storm warnings are discontinued.
We wish to express our gratitude to persons who inquired about the destination's
well-being during this trying period.
As previously reported, Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos--where
damages are extensive--bore the brunt of Hurricane Ike. There are no reports
of injuries or fatalities.
In Providenciales, effects on private citizens' property, and government
and tourism establishments are limited. Providenciales' phone service and
power in the Grace Bay area are restored while Providenciales International
Airport (PLS) is now open for emergency flights.
We are fortunate the majority of our tourism infrastructure on Providenciales
is intact as no resorts, restaurants or other structures have suffered
significant damage. Many of our hotel and restaurant partners are expected
to reopen this week.
We are eager to restore normality as soon as possible under the circumstances
and look forward to extending the warm hospitality the Turks & Caicos
Islands has become synonymous with very shortly.
The Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board and the Turks & Caicos
Islands Government's Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies
will finalize a complete assessment of Hurricane Ike's impact in the coming
days. We will provide further updates at that time.
|September 8, 2008 - A Royal Navy Warship will arrive in a hurricane-hit
British territory in the Caribbean today to help the relief effort. HMS
Iron Duke is on course for the Turks and Caicos Islands which have been
devastated first by Hurricane Hanna and yesterday morning by Hurricane
Ike. When the ship arrives at the luxury tourist destination today, rescue
teams will go ashore while a Lynx helicopter will assess damage from the
Premier Michael Misick said Ike made an almost direct hit on the Grand
Turk island, damaging 80% of homes. He said hundreds of people lost their
roofs and many were cowering in cupboards and under stairwells "just holding
on for life".There have been no reports of deaths or injuries.
When Ike hit, residents were still clearing up after a four-day battering
from Hurricane Hanna earlier in the week. Many tourists and locals had
fled at warnings of a further hurricane but some were trapped after the
airport was closed yesterday.
HMS Iron Duke's Captain, Commander Mark Newland, said: "Ahead of our
arrival, we have conducted some outline planning, familiarised ourselves
with the Turks and Caicos national disaster plan and opened dialogue with
the local emergency authorities." He said the ship was in the Turks and
Caicos Islands just two weeks ago to discuss disaster relief planning with
the government. "We can now mobilise our teams more effectively and with
much greater speed, knowing the exact areas of expertise required."
The ship has been deployed to the Caribbean region since late June,
involved in the fight against drug smugglers.
As the hurricane hit, the British Red Cross launched a fundraising appeal
for the islands, where 750 from a population of 12,000, had already lost
their homes in the previous storms. British Red Cross overseas territory
manager Clive Evans said: "These islands have not seen storms like this
for 48 years, so many buildings in the poorer communities are unlikely
to be able to withstand a Category 3 or 4 hurricane."