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Immense suffering follows disaster

Wednesday, September 27 2017

THE EDITOR: The vast majority of TT nationals do not appreciate what a real disaster is, perhaps because they have not experienced one.

I am one of those people who experienced the devastating earthquake in January 2010 in Haiti in which over 360,000 people lost their lives.

I rarely speak about that experience because of the effects of post-traumatic stress.

However, I recall the next morning after the earthquake seeing a six-year-old boy wandering around the Caribe Hotel, which while sustaining major structural damage did not collapse. The boy has cuts and bruises all over.

I brought him into the tennis court and with the help of a French-speaking woman put some makeshift bandages on his deep cuts. When asked by the woman where his father was he replied he had none. Asked about his mother, he said she was dead.

For the next 36 hours he followed me everywhere I went.

I shared whatever little swimming pool water I had with him.

It broke my heart when I had to leave him and the thousands of starving homeless people behind. I wished I could have brought him to TT .

Based on my Haitian experience, I fully understand the immense hardships and suffering of the people of hurricane-ravaged Dominica.

I fully support Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s decision to open our doors to Dominicans.

No man is an island.

You never know when it will be our turn.

RAMESH LUTCHMEDIAL Cunupia

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