Sunday 21st October, 2018 10:30 P.M.
The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government (MORDLG) and the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) will conduct initial damage assessments of all persons affected by the adverse weather. Assessments will be conducted from tomorrow (Monday 22nd October, 2018).
The Uriah Butler Highway (UBH) remains open to high vehicles such as trucks and SUVs. The South-bound lane remains inundated with flood waters. Thus, the North-bound lane of the UBH will continue to operate as a dual carriageway. The UBH has not been opened to sedan vehicles at this time. The Ministry of Works and Transport would provide an update based on the weather conditions.
The Caroni Savannah Road is impassable. The Manzanilla Main Road is impassable, as 12-16 inches of water is reported in numerous areas. The Naparima/ Mayaro Road in the vicinity of Mafeking is impassable to light motor vehicles and only high trucks can utilise the roadway. Persons are advised to avoid these roadways until further notice.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago sympathizes with all persons impacted by the adverse weather conditions and is urging anyone not impacted by the floods to report to work tomorrow to support national efforts to return our country to a state of normalcy. Persons that can safely report to work are encouraged to do so to avoid a national shutdown.
It is advisable to carpool where possible or to utilise the services of the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC). The Ministry of Works and Transport advised that additional buses will be made available to reduce congestion on the Uriah Butler Highway (UBH).
The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) continues to coordinate the distribution of relief across Trinidad and Tobago. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago thanks all state agencies, civil society groups and individuals who are supporting and assisting those in need.
Persons interested in donating goods and services should contact the Municipal Corporation closest to them.
The four (4) main areas affected by the Adverse Weather and Riverine Flooding are the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation, the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation and the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation (see map attached). The Diego Martin Regional Corporation was impacted by flooding today (Sunday 21st October, 2018). Flood waters have subsided in the Diego Martin and Maraval areas.
The MORDLG advised that the following areas remain inundated by flood waters:
· St Helena
· Kelly Village
· Santa Monica
· Vega Oropuche
· North Oropuche
Adverse Weather Alert #3-Orange Level and Riverine Flood Alert #2- Red Level are in effect. The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) forecast that tonight will be mostly settled will give way to a few showers after midnight. Gusty winds, streets and flash flooding is possible in heavy showers and thunderstorms.
The NEOC would like persons to take the necessary precautions to preserve life and property:
After heavy rainfall, stay inside until water levels have subsided;
Do not walk, play or drive through flood waters of unknown depth and current.
If you must walk through a flood, use a stick to determine the firmness of the ground as well as the depth of the water in front of you.
Persons are advised to protect themselves and family members from contaminants in flood waters. Floodwaters may carry silt, raw sewage, and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, that can make food unsafe and cause diseases.
Persons are reminded to clean up safely:
Wear personal protective equipment, including rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during clean-up of affected area. Wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeves, and full-length pants.
Use rubber or latex gloves to protect your hands.
Keep children and pets out of the affected area until clean-up has been completed.
Open as many windows as possible to allow air flow.
Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and household bleach solution.
After completing the clean-up, wash your hands with soap and clean water.
Wash all clothes worn during the clean-up in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reiterated the importance of the provision of safe food to our population. The MOH is seeking the support and commitment of restauranteurs, hoteliers/ guesthouse owners, supermarket owners, market vendors, caterers, roadside vendors and all other food handlers to do the following:
Do not use, sell, or distribute any food items (including ingredients, prepared food, and bottled water) that has been in contact with floodwaters. These items should be separated to prevent contamination of other food items that were not exposed to floodwaters.
Any food items delivered by suppliers on or after Saturday 20th October, 2018 should be stored separately from stock previously on hand. You should inspect these delivered goods for evidence of contact with floodwaters such as wet labels/ packaging, residue such as mud or silt, and stains.
For any food items that may have been in contact with floodwaters, please contact the Offices of the County Medical Officers of Health for further instructions on how to manage these items. The contact information for these offices are available on the Ministry of Health’s website, www.health.gov.tt.
The Public Health Inspectors will be visiting restaurants, hotels/ guesthouses, supermarkets, and other food premises to conduct inspections, and seize and destroy contaminated food items.
During and after a flood the homes of the animals around us are also affected. These animals include snakes, caimans, large birds and even sightings of river otters and capybaras.
Here are some safety tips if you encounter a strange animal:
· Leave it alone – Do not approach the animal because a cornered animal will defend itself. Take a picture if possible so we can identify the animal accurately.
· Contact your Municipal Corporation to coordinate a response or the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago at 800-4ZOO and teams will get to the site once the area is accessible.
· Do not try to move the animal or get close to it without first identifying the animal with an expert and finding out if it is possible and safe to do.
· Most importantly, do not kill the animal. It does not want to be in your home as much as you do not want it to be there. All animals are essential to a sustainable bio-diverse environment that is already disturbed by the floods.
· Get rid of dead animals, according to local guidelines, as soon as you can.
The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) continue to support the coordination of rescue operations, relief distribution, damage assessments and clean-up operations across Trinidad and Tobago. Citizens should continue to monitor the website and social media profiles of the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service and the ODPM for updates.
Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit
For further information, please call:
ODPM’s Customer Call Centre 511/ TEMA’s Hotline 211