A violent storm tore through several villages on the East Coast of Berbice during the wee hours yesterday flattening one home, damaging others and leaving residents with millions in losses.
The 2 am storm also uprooted trees and caused a blackout. The villager whose home was flattened leaving him with millions in losses, Alimudeen Gobin, a cane harvester of Number 19 Village, told Stabroek News that he was not at home at the time of the storm. He said that he was in Bloomfield Village on the Corentyne which was not affected. Gobin stated that he returned home around 04:20 am yesterday to be greeted by the disaster.
“I come to get me things to go to work when me see me house in this condition. The storm was too heavy nobody na even know that this house fall down”, he said.
Gobin, who lives alone, mused that he would have probably met his demise if he was in his home at the time of the storm.
“All two bed and the one in that room could a squeeze me, I could a be a dead man time like now”. He praised God that he wasn’t home.
He then pleaded for assistance from the public in rebuilding his home. He said, “I just want put up back something so me can live inside”.
Meanwhile, further down, Nezam Khalil’s entire roof was ripped out causing his ceiling to collapse.
“The rain was falling and then all a sudden a hear a big noise, a get up from the bed and open the room door and me stand up right there…Then me hear this thing start to give like nuff firecrackers go off one time..But then the ceiling (start) come down and when I look up I see the roof gone”.
He explained that his daughter called on him after which they rushed downstairs. “The only thing I could grab in the house was me and she passport…That was the worst experience I ever had in my life”, said Khalil, 50.
According to Khalil, the storm lasted some three minutes. He said he lost a shed which he recently built costing him some $400,000.
“I ain’t finding back the shed, me ain’t know where the zincs or the rafter and so deh”. He also noted that he was not finding several roof sheets that flew off from his home.
Khalil also lost a brand new 55-inch television set, two desktop computers and one laptop among other items. He totaled his losses at $1m.
Khalil said after the storm he and his daughter retired to the lone room which was not damaged in their home as there was nothing they could do until morning.
Meanwhile, during Stabroek News’ early morning visit other residents from Number 19 Village were seen rebuilding what was destroyed, while in the next village residents were seen retrieving galvanized sheets that were ripped out by the storm and which landed several feet away from their homes.
When asked about the ordeal, the residents who only lost a few sheets from their roof said they “dropped on their knees and started to pray, begging God to keep them safe”.
At least eleven houses suffered damage during the storm. One resident from Number 19 Village noted that during the storm electrical wires were seen sparking causing residents to turn off their main switches. The area eventually lost power.