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Not even the dead can ‘rest in peace’ because of hurricanes Irma & Maria

- The Virgin Islands is averaging 5 funerals per week since September 6, 2017
A tomb in Carrot Bay, Tortola, that was 'uprooted' during the passage of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
Two tombs that were undermined in a cemetery in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, during the passage of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
Two tombs that were undermined in a cemetery in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, during the passage of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
Four persons were reportedly living in this rest room facility at a cemetery in Sea Cows Bay following the passage of Hurricane Irma. Photo: Team of Reporters
Four persons were reportedly living in this rest room facility at a cemetery in Sea Cows Bay following the passage of Hurricane Irma. Photo: Team of Reporters
This graveyard in Cane Garden Bay was severely affected by the storm surges brought by Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
This graveyard in Cane Garden Bay was severely affected by the storm surges brought by Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The two Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, have not only caused those who are alive to face hardship, stress and discomfort, but not even our loved ones who have long passed on can rest in peace.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought much heavy winds, rains and storm surges that resulted in the undermining of many graveyards throughout the Territory and especially those located on the coastlines, like Carrot Bay and Cane Garden Bay, on Tortola.

Reports are that on the sister islands, while the issues are not so pronounced, there was severe flooding in family graveyards on Jost van Dyke and on Salt Island.

There are reports that on Salt Island two graves were undermined following hurricanes Irma and Maria and it is reported that one casket was found open without the body of the deceased. Police and Ministry of Health and Social Development officials are said to be investigating and are expected to make a trip to Salt Island perhaps today Monday December 11, 2017.

The Salt Island graveyard casket issue is also being circulated on social network.

In the Carrot Bay area, one grave vault has tumbled down after being undermined by the storm surges; however, the tomb and casket remained intact.

We must be concerned- CEHO- Michael

The extent of the damaged graves throughout the Virgin Islands (VI) has not reached the stage of alarm, but newly appointed Chief Environmental Health Officer Lionel E. Michael, speaking to our newsroom, warned that we should be “concerned.”

Mr Michael said “graves should be sound in all aspects, depth, width, length to suite the particular coffin”. However, he stated “these things will happen in any county in these weather conditions.”

Death toll sky rocketed after the Hurricanes passed; is there a connection

Meanwhile, following the September 6, 2017 Hurricane Irma that inflicted much destruction on the VI, our newsroom can confirm, after speaking with funeral homes and hospital sources, that approximately 60 persons passed away between September 7, 2017 and December 7, 2017.

The British Overseas Territory is now averaging some 5 funerals a week, according to one funeral home, an unusually high number. In addition, there are bodies that are cremated or sent home to their country of origin for funerals that would have further driven up the local weekly funeral statistics for the above mentioned period.

It should be mentioned too that some were terminally ill before the hurricanes and died between the period September 7, 2017 and December 7, 2017.

There are two funeral homes on the main island of Tortola and none on the sister islands.

Many residents believe that after hurricanes Irma and Maria, the stress, discomfort and shock of what was experienced have taken a toll on residents, especially the elderly and many recent deaths could be attributed directly to the two killer storms. However, there are no scientific data to support this theory.

Some 4 persons were directly killed on September 6, 2017 in Hurricane Irma and 1 person on September 19, 2017 in Hurricane Maria, according to Government’s official figures.

Persons living in cemetery after Hurricanes- Hon Julian Fraser

While we are on the topic of graveyards, death and hurricanes, we will remember that it was former Opposition Leader and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA, who shocked the national consciousness when he reported that homeless people in his district were living in a cemetery.

Hon Fraser, a former Minister of Government who was first elected in 1999, told the House of Assembly at the first post hurricanes Irma and Maria sitting on October 5, 2017, that “I didn’t say dead people in the cemetery, I said living people are in the cemetery.”

Our newsroom went to investigate days after Hon Fraser shared the information with the public. We did confirm the District Representative’s information and found four men living in the rest rooms in the burial ground on Nibbs Estate, a government-owned cemetery.

However, a visit to the same site two months later, on December 7, 2017, found that the occupants had left the cemetery’s rest rooms and found housing elsewhere.

15 Responses to “Not even the dead can ‘rest in peace’ because of hurricanes Irma & Maria”

  • cay (11/12/2017, 11:07) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    oh no!
  • family (11/12/2017, 11:17) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    very good piece VINO, this is an issue
  • VOW (11/12/2017, 11:31) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do not forget that the problem with the Insurance is adding a lot of stress on people they are treating people as if we owe them and the banks do not care a damn once they get their money . But I think it is time the banks step in to help their customers. The poor is suffering while the rich still robbing us with all we are going through. For the elected members they are missing only FAHIE you see and hear but god is still on his throne.
  • so sorry (11/12/2017, 11:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am in Awe.
  • Curious (11/12/2017, 11:53) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    Lawdy and dem wan bring tourists to see this?
    Hmmm
  • the dead cant do anything (11/12/2017, 14:22) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    it gave many the opportunity to go dig up people and bones to take to the shrines and spiritualists and to put evil spirits on people their families businesses homes etc.This world continue to be wicked each and everyday.However God sees and knows and he ain't like ugly at all.
  • dread (11/12/2017, 15:09) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    This damm hurricane irma
    • @dread (11/12/2017, 21:01) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      Irma just exposed all the flaws of this country.
      • @dead dead and Fakes (12/12/2017, 04:40) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        Irma didn't expose just the flaws. It exposes the evil and the fakes. People who have Jobs don't care about people who don't have Jobs. Selfish dog eat dog to survive. Not even you friends you use to lime and hang out with and spend money on Now you are out of work they don't call to see how you are doing, they don't check for you or check on you. like you are also dead. So Irma also expose all the Fake asxxs Friends.. As for our government they don't care. They are living well. To hell with the sufferers... God is watching. The table will turn.
  • foxy (12/12/2017, 02:16) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope the government address this issue with the weight it deserves
  • Mary (12/12/2017, 19:09) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    LET THE DEAD BURY THE DEAD


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