(Trinidad Express) Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has declared that the flooding nightmare that has left thousands marooned is a “national disaster.”
There has been a catastrophic level of flooding across many communities in Trinidad beginning Friday night. Families are being evacuated from homes in east and central Trinidad as flood waters continue to rise following two days of persistent rainfall.
Just before 10am yesterday, the Prime Minister via his Facebook page stated that it is going to cost a lot of money to bring relief. He also condemned acts of looting during the disaster.
He posted: “This is a national disaster, the flooding is quite widespread and quite severe and it is going to cost a lot of money to bring relief to people who have been affected. Notwithstanding whatever shortages we are experiencing we will have to find the resources to help.
“The situation is bad in the St Helena/Kelly area as these communities are still experiencing very high levels of water and the roads cannot be used by vehicular traffic.
“Rescue operations continue with the Coast Guard utilising boats to reach stranded persons. I want to assure persons that the Government is doing all that it can to, in the first instance, rescue trapped persons and then to ensure that they have the resources they need when they get to the shelters.
“I am heading to the Sangre Grande area now which has also been affected adversely. I am very disappointed to learn of reports of looting in this Eastern district. The police have clamped down on this and are on hand to ensure law and order.”
Throughout Friday night, affected people from the elderly to young children were forced to climb to their roofs for safety. Homes in Kelly Village, Caroni, were almost covered in water sending families scrambling to the rooftops.
The Express was told that the flood water began rising at around 1am on Friday. The Greenvale Park Housing Complex was also evacuated overnight. Flood water rose to almost 10 feet covering vehicles.
The losses are estimated to be to the tune of millions.
On Friday night, rescue efforts were also underway at Greenville, La Horquetta where an entire community was under threat. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) stated that the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force reported that there were approximately 150 persons at the La Horquetta Regional Complex. As a safety precaution, the electricity in the area has been temporarily disconnected, the ODPM stated.
Images on social media tell the story of the horror many are still enduring.
Various parts of the country are totally impassable such as Caroni, St Helena, Kelly Village, Las Lomas etc.
Mayaro MP Rushton Paray said his constituency was “completely cut off.” He said roads were impassable and homes were flooded out.
Paray said it was impossible to access Sangre Grande through Manzanilla.
He said the Naparima Mayaro Road in the Mafeking Area is impassible.
“Mafeking and inner Mafeking is under flood waters and impassible. The Poole Valley – Guaya Road is impassible and Cedar Grove is totally cut off,” he said.