Storm damages Linden buildings

One the houses in Linden that suffered extensive damage as a result of the storm.

The Christianburg/Wismar Multilateral School and the Mackenzie Market were among the structures that were damaged after a freak storm hit Linden yesterday afternoon.

Stabroek News understands that heavy winds and rains began just after three yesterday afternoon.

Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland said that the town and outlying areas had experienced an estimated three-hour-long thunderstorm during the wee hours of yesterday.

According to Holland, a similar situation occurred yesterday afternoon just after 3 pm. The storm reportedly lasted for at least an hour and a half and had prompted many persons to “close up shop” and go home early.

He further noted that though no reports of injured persons were received, residents have been left traumatised.

A section of the Mackenzie Market building that was torn off during the storm.

In terms of infrastructural damage, the Mayor noted that several buildings suffered as a result of the storm, including the school as well as the market, which suffered damage to sections of the roof.

Several houses were also damaged, including one that was partially wrecked after a nearby tree fell on it after being uprooted during the storm.

Holland said a number persons have since reached out seeking assistance. He added that members of the Guyana Police Force have activated a patrol team, which will be tasked with conducting a preliminary assessment of the situation around the town.

Efforts to assess the full extent of yesterday’s thunderstorm were expected to continue late into the night.

Additionally, two emergency numbers (444-6303 and 444-3512) have been activated and the Regional Democratic Council is working with the town council to assist affected residents.

In the long term, Holland said that attention will soon be placed on the occurrence of erosion since it has been noted that it continues to take a toll on neighbourhoods that are situated on the hilly parts of Linden, such as Wismar. He also underscored the need for investments in a revetment programme, which, according to him, would save hundreds of homes that are currently a risk.

Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and several other parts of the country have recently been rattled by violent thunderstorms. Residents have been left fearful in the aftermath of shattered houses and torn-off roofs.

In the wake of the storms, renewed questions have been raised about whether there is any information coming from the $550m Doppler Radar which had been funded by the European Union in 2009. The radar was meant to serve a variety of purposes including giving some notice of the approach of violent weather.