ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Negligence is the reason why several individuals were injured during the passage of Tropical Storm Gonzalo on Monday, said Major Alando Michael, operations officer at the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS).
“There was one case where a man went outside and climbed up a tree that had fallen on his roof during the storm. He fell from that tree and hurt his back,” Major Michael said.
There were other individuals who suffered cuts and bruises as well when they attempted to clean up without proper footwear and other appropriate gear.
“There has to be prudence all the way through a storm. What I’ve found is that people wanted to go outside to protect property during the storm, but preparation to protect property begins before the hurricane season starts, except in extreme cases,” Major Michael said.
He also noted, “Once the storm begins it is about protecting life.”
The Defence Force major said if people were to take storms and hurricanes seriously, they would be ready at all times.
On Monday, Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) treated 21 people, who said they sustained injuries during the storm, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Harry Thomas said.
They were all discharged the same day as the injuries were not serious or life threatening.
Two people were treated at the hospital, yesterday, for injuries they said they sustained on Monday during the storm that packed nearly 70 mph of sustained winds, which caused structural damage to homes and businesses and brought down trees and lamp posts.
Meanwhile, OBSERVER media understands that between 7 am and 12 midnight Monday, the Emergency Medical Services transported 35 persons to hospital. Thirty-three of them fell ill during the storm and two were trauma cases.