'We need to help': Montrealers collect supplies for hurricane-ravaged Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda Association collecting packaged food, goods, building materials, until 2 p.m. Saturday
As another hurricane rips through the Caribbean, some Montrealers are trying to help residents of one island that was "reduced to rubble" by Hurricane Irma earlier this month.
Days after Irma passed through, Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said Barbuda "endured winds of up to 230 miles per hour [370 km/h], and that in itself created an unprecedented amount of damage."
Browne said 90 per cent of the properties were damaged or demolished, and hundreds have been left homeless.
Volunteers from Mtl's Antigua&Barbuda Assn collecting kids' (new) clothes, food, toiletries, sheets for Irma victims <a href="https://t.co/uVeR4Y7amj">pic.twitter.com/uVeR4Y7amj</a>—@ShariOkeke
"Think about it: you have no house, you have no school, you have no hospital, you have no church, you have no livestock, animals have been destroyed. So right now, we need to help those people," said Juleen Barrington, the association's president.
They are now accepting goods at Gordon's Tire, at the corner of Cavendish Boulevard and St-Jacques Street, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Accepting donations through the weekend
Erene Anthony, a board member of the association, said she was speaking with the country's consulate general in Toronto to ensure that any donations are well used.
Rebuilding Barbuda will be more challenging because, unlike Caribbean islands such as Saint Martin, which is shared by the French and the Dutch, it's not a territory of a richer country that it can rely on for aid.
But many believe Barbudans will rebuild the island, one donation at a time.
Constantine Greenaway w/ St. Kitts and Nevis cultural assn of Mtl just dropped off toilets! Plus sugar & milk & more <a href="https://t.co/1AlIc9yiEA">pic.twitter.com/1AlIc9yiEA</a>—@ShariOkeke
The association is arranging pick-ups for people who can't get to the drop-off points. Anyone interested can call Anthony at 514-233-3589 to set something up.
With files from Navneet Pall, Laura Marchand and Shari Okeke