International airports reopen in Grenada and St Vincent

The international airports serving Grenada and St Vincent and The Grenadines are restoring normal operations following the devastation caused by Hurricane Beryl.

The deadly storm hit the eastern Caribbean islands on Monday and is expected to hit Jamaica and the Cayman Islands today.

The St Vincent and Grenadines Tourism Authority said Hurricane Beryl brought “significant rainfall and heavy winds” to the archipelago, damaging hundreds of homes and buildings.

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Prime minister Ralph Gonsalves said reports indicated that Union Island in particular has been devastated, with 90% of houses either severely damaged or destroyed.

He noted similar levels of devastation are expected for the islands of Mayreau and Canouan.

St Vincent’s Argyle International Airport (AIA) and the four airports in the Grenadines temporarily ceased operations.

AIA is resuming operations today (July 3), from 8am local time for humanitarian operations and from non to 7pm for commercial operations.

Regular operating hours will resume from Thursday while the airports in Bequia, Canouan and Union Island will remain closed until further notice.

The tourism authority said the reconstruction process began on Tuesday to restore power and telecommunication services.

Tourism officials have been in contact with accommodation throughout SVG and have been assured that all guests are safe.

Tourism minister Carlos James assured visitors that “as a resilient nation, St Vincent and the Grenadines will recover from this devastation and look forward to welcoming visitors once again to our beautiful 32 islands and cays”.

A statement from the Grenada Tourism Authority said: “The island of Grenada has thankfully largely escaped the effects of Hurricane Beryl and the Maurice Bishop International Airport reopened [on July 2].

“The major airlines have already announced the return of their scheduled flights and hotels have also reported that they are fully operational.

“However, we’re deeply saddened by the widespread damage, and news of fatalities on our sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

“We are working closely with the emergency services to ensure support and relief efforts are in place as soon as possible, as well as the restoration of vital services.

“Our focus remains on ensuring the safety and welfare of those affected by the hurricane and our heartfelt sympathies go out to family and friends at this difficult time.”

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