THURSDAY night was a long one for Saint Lucians, as they waited-out the storm-force winds and heavy rains predicted to come with Tropical Storm Kirk.
Unlike last year when the country was spared hurricanes Maria and Irma, both of which took lives, caused much damage and pushed back development of some sister islands in the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Kirk did not skirt Saint Lucia heavily.
Kirk appears to have hit Saint Lucia head-on, as it made its presence felt through strong winds and rains reported across the island.
First forecast to pass between Saint Lucia and Martinique was that the storm seemed to have dipped, passing over the island late Thursday night into the early morning of Friday.
As dawn Friday peeked out on a rain-soaked and wind-swept Saint Lucia, a true picture of what went down the night before unfolded.
Fortunately, at first glance, the damage appears not as severe as in recent times — like the Christmas Eve Trough of 2013 and Tropical Storm Tomas of 2010.
Nevertheless, reports of downed trees, electricity poles and lines, radio and television stations knocked out — though temporarily — were reported.
No deaths or injuries or missing persons were reported as a result of Kirk up to press time yesterday.
Kirk, it seems, will be known for the winds it produced, rather than for the accompanying rain, as strong winds were reported in most communities with trees taking quite a shaking.
The island remained on lockdown throughout yesterday morning, as government officials and the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) monitored Kirk’s progress and evaluated whatever damage the storm may have caused.
The all-clear sign was given late yesterday morning. However, some business houses decided to remain closed for the day, while others opened.
Efforts to get an accurate picture of the damage caused by the passage of Tropical Storm Kirk from the relevant authorities proved fruitless prior to press time yesterday.
Vieux Fort and other parts of the island’s south reportedly suffered a heavier pounding of rain than the north, but up to press time official reports were scant.
However, electricity — which was snuffed out early Thursday night — had been restored to most areas Friday morning.
Meanwhile, when Saint Lucians thought they were free of the storm Friday morning, many reported having felt an earthquake.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Center reported the quake as having a magnitude of 5.5 and located 89km northeast of Fort-de-France, Martinique with a depth of 40 km, occurring at 8:32a.m.
Saint Lucians, just starting to breathe a sigh of relief over Kirk’s passage, were now forced to remember recent tremors felt here, some of which left visible infrastructural damage, but harmed no one.