September 17, 2004
UWI students return after Ivan passes Jamaica

Over 30 Vincentian students pursuing their tertiary level education at the Mona Campus, University of the West Indies, and the University of Technology, Jamaica, are breathing a sigh of relief to have returned home courtesy the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, shortly after that country received a devastating blow from Hurricane Ivan over the weekend. {{more}}
The contingent, mainly females were all smiles on Tuesday evening at the E.T Joshua Airport.
Government made it possible for the students to return to St.Vincent and the Grenadines on the grounds of them being at a security risk in the ravaged stricken island. At the time the students returned a state of emergency was still in existence in Jamaica.
On Friday, September 10, Hurricane Ivan, dubbed ‘Ivan the terrible’ after a Russian ruler, struck the northerly Caribbean state triggering havoc throughout the island although its eye failed to make landfall. There were widespread incidences of looting. Reports claim that some looters lost their lives while looting in the midst of the hurricane with winds over 200 kilometres per hour. Additionally, four police officers received bullet wounds from looters as they tried to maintain order.
Besides having to live with the fear of becoming the looters’ next target, Vincentian students who remained on the university campus along with several foreign students, regionally and internationally, were challenged by the loss of electricity and the shortage of water and its disconnection in some instances. Food, a vital element, was running low rapidly.
Besides St.Vincent and the Grenadines several other Caribbean states evacuated their students. With Bahamas to do so as early as Thursday September 9, followed by Trinidad and Tobago, St.Lucia, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda.
The Mona Campus, University of the West Indies spent the week assessing the damage and preparing the compound to resume classes as early as Monday.
Hurricane Ivan affected Jamaica on the eve of the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Gilbert which devastated the island in 1988.