in Martinique, full cemeteries and overwhelmed funeral directors

September 13, 2021 by archyde

in Martinique, full cemeteries and overwhelmed funeral directors

© Thomas THURAR / AFP
In Martinique, the coronavirus epidemic is slowly declining, but hospital tension remains extremely high. Since mid-July, the island has recorded no less than 400 deaths and is faced with full cemeteries and overwhelmed funeral directors. A situation which leads to the destruction of family vaults for lack of space.

Despite a slight decline, the epidemic situation linked coronavirus remains tense in Martinique. The number of intensive care patients remains extremely high, and the death toll continues to climb. A situation which results in the increase in the number of burials. And this influx poses a problem in many municipalities, forced to find solutions to absorb these many coffins and where the cemeteries are full. This is particularly the case in the commune of François, in the south of the island.

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Negotiating the reopening of family vaults

Laurent is the boss of a small funeral director and he is forced to manage one or two burials per day. Before Covid-19, it was one to two a week. “We try to do what is necessary, you need a hammer and a chisel, in the end, it’s not very complicated, it’s just extra work,” he said.

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The increase in the number of deaths indeed forces Joseph, the person in charge of the communal cemetery, to negotiate with the families the reopening of family vaults for lack of space. “We try to make them understand and accept that it is necessary to put cousins ​​and cousins ​​in the vaults to have room for those who have none at all”, explains the one who has already had to place eight coffins in a vault planned for six. In this small town in the south of Martinique, 190 burials are carried out on average each year. But in 2021, 214 burials have already been carried out.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my