Trinidad: Family narrowly escapes house collapse during torrential rainfall

Residents of this house in St. Mary’s Village, Moruga, view the structural damage done to the house after it collapsed on Saturday.

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) MORUGA grandfather Earl Teesdale said he is lucky to be alive after his house collapsed after torrential rainfall over the weekend.

The wooden pillars of Teesdale’s house at Rest House Trace, St Mary’s, buckled and gave way on Saturday.

Teesdale, 65, his wife Beverly, and his 14 year old grandson, were in the house when it collapsed.

They crawled out unharmed.

Tesdale said his pick-up van parked beneath the house supported part of the structure, otherwise the entire house would have crashed down on them.

Residents of this house in St. Mary’s Village, Moruga, try to salvage items after their house collapsed on Saturday night.

Teesdale said that earlier that day he noticed that the posts had moved and he had planned with his brothers to do renovations on Sunday morning. He said the wooden house is over 35 years old.

“The rain fell and the water came up and the house twisted drastically. Just a few minutes before it happened I know the house was leaning so I told my wife to come out the house. I just bathed and was changing when I just heard a crackling. My wife ran to the back of the house. We didn’t have any time to do anything and it just fell”, he said. “From the rains in previous day, the water came up to the step. The posts are wooden, so they got water soaked. The land started to get soft and the weight of the house just kept pushing in it. The vehicle underneath saved it otherwise we and the house would have been flat. My brothers were coming to help push up the house and change the posts. But we didn’t reach to that. We had plans to fix it”.

“I was surprised that it crashed so quickly. It kept pushing from the northern side. If that van was not underneath there I, my wife and my grandson would have been dead”, he said.

The family have since moved most of their possessions to the house next door owned by his son.

On Sunday Teesdale said he was visited by Member of Parliament for Moruga Lovell Francis.

Teesdale said he obtained a grant and has also reported the incident at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management.

However he said he ran into problems with paper work since the land had been leased to his grandfather, who has since passed away.

He said he did not have documents to prove that portions of the land had been paid for and was advised to visit the office of State agencies to try to obtain the documents.

Teesdale said he will try through the State agencies to get the documentary proof, but was also exploring the option of moving to another place.

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