PEOPLE in Huddersfield were today urged to back an appeal to help families hit by Hurricane Ivan in the Caribbean.
Dozens of families in the town have relatives in islands including Grenada and Jamaica, both devastated over the past few days.
Now, the Mayor of Kirklees, Clr Mary Harkin, and Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman have got together to appeal for help.
Clr Harkin said: "Few people will fail to have been moved by the plight of the people of the Caribbean following the destruction.
"Television shows all too clearly the utter devastation.
"It is difficult to imagine the living conditions faced by all those affected, yet alone contemplate the sort of future which lies ahead," she added.
"The tourist industry, on which so many locals depend, will take some considerable time to recover.
"And for the thousands who have lost their homes and all they possess the prospects look bleak, with the added burden of no immediate means of earning a living.
"Our thoughts go out to all local residents worried about family and friends in the Caribbean.
"Help is urgently needed to provide life's basic necessities of clean water and shelter."
Mr Sheerman said: "There is a very large Caribbean community in Huddersfield, with people who have families in Grenada and Jamaica.
"Parts of these islands have been devastated and it is a worrying time for those who live there and their relatives elsewhere.
"I have urged Clr Harkin to start an appeal and would ask people to support it."
Mina Gay, owner of the Rumboat Carribar restaurant in Northumberland Street, Huddersfield, said: "A lot of people here have relatives there or have houses there.
"A lot of those who came here in the 1950s have bought land so they can move back there and retire.
"It's hard because you can't always get through to relatives. But we are getting information from each other."
Mrs Gay, from Paddock, has a brother and mother on the island of Carriacou and cousins in Grenada.
Fortunately they are all safe and their homes have suffered minimal damage.
THE Red Cross have set up a Caribbean Hurricane Appeal and money from the appeal will go straight to families, many of whom have lost everything.
This is to provide urgently needed shelter materials and clean water in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. Donations to the Caribbean Hurricane Appeal, The British Red Cross, Freepost, London SW1X 7BR, telephone 020 7235 5454, or visit a Red Cross Shop or visit the website on www.redcross.org.uk .
A Disaster Relief Fund has also been set up for Grenada by the Grenada High Commission in London. The contact number is 0207 631 4275. Cheques should be made payable to Disaster Relief Fund, and sent to The Grenada High Commission, 5 Chandos Street, London, W1G 9DG.
Money can also be paid in at any Lloyds TSB branch to the Grenada Disaster Relief Fund, account number 00584503, sort code 30-92-83.