Powerful winds lashed Lima, Essequibo Coast, yesterday morning, ripping the roof off of a house, and leaving two persons nursing injuries and the area without power.
As a result, the Region Two Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has pledged its support to the three affected households, while Region Two Chairman Devanand Ramdatt yesterday also made a public appeal for help on their behalf.
Stabroek News was told that it had been raining and the winds grew stronger around 10 am, when the devastation began in the Lima Housing Scheme.
Ramdatt said that he and a regional councillor and other officials visited the area and observed that three homes had sustained notable damage, with two sustaining damage to their roofs.
He noted that the roof of the house at Lot 18 Lima Housing Scheme was blown off. The roof landed on the neighbour’s house at Lot 19 Lima Housing Scheme, causing damage to their roof and eastern section of the house.
At a third house, located on the Public Road, he explained that a section of the roof was also damaged but it was not as bad as the two others. He also noted that electrical appliances were damaged in the homes.
In addition, Ramdatt noted that none of the affected families has asked for help with accommodations as relatives have stepped in to offer them lodgings. He, however, noted that they would be looking to provide meals to the families since they are not in a position to cook.
One affected resident, Reanna Persaud, last evening told Stabroek News that they were erecting a temporary roof just to shelter for the night.
She recounted that the members of her family were going about their daily chores when they felt the heavy winds. She explained that as she was trying to close a door, she saw a zinc sheet being ripped off from the neighbour’s property and seconds later she felt the impact of it landing on their home.
The woman added that in a matter of seconds, the roof of her family’s home was ripped off.
Persaud also said that as her parents were exiting the house, a part of a shed collapsed on her father, Zainool Persaud.
She said he sustained an injury to his head and minor injuries to his shoulder and abdomen.
Reanna noted that her child also seemed to be traumatised by the incident.
Ramdatt also said another resident was injured and was taken to the neighbouring health centre for treatment. “I have also contracted the Regional Health Officer to provide support to the child as she may require psycho-social support,” he said.
Up to last night, the power supply was not restored to the community.
Ramdatt noted that while he was in the community he observed technicians from the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) in the area carrying out assessments.
Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, acting Director-General, yesterday said that the Civil Defence Commission had been in contact with the regional officials and was receiving frequent updates.
Craig, however, indicated that they were still awaiting word from the region on the magnitude of the damage before responding. “If it is a situation that the region can handle, we will provide assistance from here. But if it is a situation that they cannot handle, we will step in,” he explained.
Ramdatt said that he had informed the Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson of the damages and suggested a course of action to offer assistance to the families.
“We are looking to help the families with building materials to reconstruct their roofs. One of the affected families has a member who is a carpenter and we have asked him to prepare an estimate for the repairs,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ramdatt disclosed that while the region has not received any other report of villages being affected by winds, it was informed that some sections of Charity were flooded. He said the situation was not severe but he had asked the REO to put the necessary systems in place.
“I have asked him to talk to our programme managers, [National Drainage and Irrigation Authority] engineers, [the Anna Regina Town Council] and [Neighbourhood Democratic Councils] to closely monitor the situation and to ensure that fuel for pumps are available with the pumps, sluices and kokers to be in order in case of any emergency situation that requires drainage,” he disclosed.
He noted that within the last 12 hours, the weather conditions in the region had changed rapidly.