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Miriam’s story: protection from disease after the hurricane

Woman holding puppy© InfoThe night before Hurricane Ike struck, Miriam, together with her husband, left her house to take refuge in a friend’s more solid home. When she returned, she found her house flattened by the sheer force of the hurricane.

Helped by one of their neighbours, Miriam and her husband built a makeshift house out of old recycled plywood boards; a shack really, about 3 x 2.5 metres, no windows, just a small door through which their bed can be seen and, at its feet, a pile of items she salvaged once the hurricane had died down.

Miriam holds up a corner of a mosquito net she folded behind the bed. She says: “The Red Cross has been here to help lots last week and gave me food and water and also this mosquito net. There are so many mosquitoes after the hurricane – it’s great to have a mosquito net to protect ourselves.”

Miracles and puppies

Miriam lives in one of the less developed areas of Grand Turk. She describes the house they used to have: “We had a cistern for water and an area to do the cooking. The cistern was destroyed and now I’ve put together a makeshift kitchen in front of the shack. It’s a very improvised solution but I want to be able to care for my family again.

“It’s a real miracle no one I know got hurt the night of the hurricane, especially given the damage done to so much of the housing on the island. Even my dog didn’t get hurt and has given birth to a puppy since.”

Miriam holds up a tiny puppy, which she calls Tormenta – ‘hurricane’ in Spanish.

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