Trinidad & Tobago Suffers Severe Flooding And Landslides
By Rachel George
Trinidad and Tobago is experiencing severe flooding this hurricane season in what the country’s Prime Minister is declaring a “national disaster.”
“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,” Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said in a statement on Facebook. “Notwithstanding whatever shortages we are experiencing we will have to find the resources to help.”
Tobago Emergency Management Authority (TEMA) director Alan Stewart warned people in Trinidad & Tobago to stay off the roads and in their homes. He says it is the height of the hurricane season for Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad & Tobago Guardian says TEMA received six incident reports in the last two days, including a fallen tree and a blocked road. Severe heavy rainstorms around Tobago caused high levels of mud to wash into the sea.
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According to Trinidad & Tobago Newsday, marine vessels rescued 200-300 stranded people. Residents are fearful their homes are in danger and will not be able to be salvaged. Many spent the night on the rooftops of their homes in order to avoid the high rising water.
Stewart has urged people in Tobago to communicate with TEMA and other relief agencies through the Zello app and to be cautious of lampposts. If you live in an area the experienced flooding, you are encouraged to “move your articles to higher ground and do the necessary as creating dykes to prevent your property from water,” Stewart said.
In the meantime, Caribbean Airlines has canceled all flights between both islands due to the flooding and visibility concerns around Piarco International Airport. Some passengers were still able to catch flights from Trinidad to Tobago, prior to the flood rising.