Sunday 2nd October: In light of the imminent storm, Hurricane Mathew, expected to impact Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba in particular, the Government of St Kitts and Nevis through its heads of missions in Kingston and Havana reached out to students there to express solidarity and support.
At the time, labeled as a Category 4 storm, headed for Jamaica, forecasters indicated that this was the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in Jamaica. With the anticipated panic of our students, thousands of miles away from the comfort to their home and loved ones, His Excellency Harper, High Commissioner in Kingston would have assured the head of the St Kitts and Nevis Student Association, Ms Yenesia Henry of his presence and prayers; while Ms Verna Morris, Chargé d’affaires, based in Havana, telephoned students scattered across several institutions in Cuba to encourage them to protect themselves and to follow the guidelines of the authorities. Although Cuba is renowned for its record in safety evacuations and low fatalities from storms, Ms Morris wanted to indicate the support of the Embassy and by extension the Government of St Kitts and Nevis during this time of anxiety and uncertainty.
The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, would have already taken precautionary measures in the interest of its student population, it was important that students, separated from family, were in contact with the St Kitts and Nevis representative, resident in Jamaica.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is being updated by the St Kitts and Nevis diplomats in those two locations, continue to monitor the events and stands ready to assist as needed. We pray that our students in those countries in particular will remain free of harm and that they, along with their families at home will be less anxious, knowing that the Government will do all in its power to ensure that their loved ones are safe.