HC Deb 15 June 1955 vol 542 cc11-2W
52. Sir R. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what damage was done and how many people were rendered homeless by the recent fire at Soufriere in St. Lucia; and what steps have been taken to provide immediate relief in this area.

Mr. Hopkinson

Three hundred and eighty-seven buildings, or about three-fifths of the town, were destroyed. It is estimated that some 2,400 people were made homeless. The St. Lucia Government, with valuable help from the local Red Cross and other voluntary workers, are doing everything they can to relieve distress. Food and temporary shelter have been arranged and precautions taken to safeguard health. Public utility services have been restored.

The Governments, the local Red Cross Societies and the public of neighbouring territories, and the British Red Cross, have responded to the Acting Governor's appeal with prompt and generous offers of help. Some relief supplies have already arrived by air. I feel sure that the whole House will wish my right hon. Friend to convey their sympathy with the victims of this disaster.