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Boy swept to death in St Lucia

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Boy swept to death in St Lucia

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CASTRIES, St. Lucia – An eight year old boy lost his life after he was swept away by gushing waters today as St. Lucia experienced another deluge which left several areas across the island under water.
Urban and rural communities already waterlogged from the rains of Hurricane Tomas were once again drenched by what weather officials said was a surface trough which is currently affecting the Windward Islands.
They said the system is moving very slowly and is producing moderate to heavy showers over the island. The heavy rainfall and thunderstorms have already left the capital and several communities under water, and residents of Rock Hall, a community east of here, confirmed the death of the boy who was pulled out of a river in the area.
“He was playing near the river which suddenly became swollen and he was swept downstream. After several attempts residents were able pull his body, trapped by a stone, out with the use of rope,” a relative told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).
The weather system which impacted the islands from dawn caused a disruption to commercial operations here with business houses closing early after they were flooded out.
Schools which opened for fifth form students for the first time Wednesday since the passage of Hurricane Tomas two Saturdays ago were also closed and students sent home.
There were also reports that swollen rivers had blocked the east coast road while motorists were advised against using the west coast road until the system had passed.  
Residents were being advised throughout the day to take all necessary precautions against flooding and landslides in areas prone to those hazards.
Small craft operators, especially local fishermen were advised against venturing far from port today because of reduced visibility.
The island is still counting its losses from widespread destruction following the passage of Hurricane Tomas which is officially being assessed by teams from the United Nations.
The storm is being blamed for 14 deaths and damage estimated at EC$500 (US$187 million). (CMC)