Initial calculations suggest about 22.5 percent of the Virgin Islands’ population was displaced after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, according to Premier Dr. Orlando Smith.

Dr. Smith (R-at large) provided this figure in a statement today and later said in an interview with the Beacon that the number was based off of survey statistics gathered by the Department of Disaster Management and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

“I again ask property owners and landlords to take advantage of opportunities such as the loan reprieves by the territory’s banks, the waiving of customs duties for rebuilding supplies and the relaxed labour and immigration policies to contract skilled labourers to jumpstart the rebuilding process and secure housing for residents,” the premier said in his statement.

Skilled workers

Dr. Smith also noted that commercial flights did indeed begin on Monday at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport as previously announced.

“Skilled workers can enter the territory via the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport, the West End Jetty, Tortola Pier Park tender dock and directly to Virgin Gorda via the St. Thomas Bay Jetty,” he said.

Those entering the VI for relief purposes should say so on arrival and provide the name of their employer, as well as their occupation, the premier added.