Flood relief and recovery efforts continue in communities affected by the adverse weather which occurred between Thursday 18th October, 2018 to Monday 22nd October, 2018. The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) remains activated and continues to coordinate response, relief distribution, damage assessments and clean-up operations in affected communities. The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government (MRDLG) inclusive of the CEPEP Company Limited, the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT) inclusive of the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP), the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF), the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service (TTFS), the Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force (TTCF), the Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company (SWMCOL), the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS), the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society (TTRCS), volunteers and various civil society organisations are supporting these operations.
MOWT has advised that the Manzanilla/Mayaro Road is now clear of water and opened to two lane traffic. Clean up operations have been completed at the site of the landslide on the North Coast Road, in the vicinity of Tyrico Bay. The North Coast Road is passable, however, only one lane of traffic is allowed due to the presence of heavy equipment. Motorists are advised to proceed with caution while traversing this route and to expect traffic delays. The landslides reported in La Sieva, Maraval and the Park, Glencoe have been cleared.
The MRDLG, MSDFS continues to conduct damage assessment and needs analysis for persons residing in communities affected by the recent floods. Over 2500 assessments have been completed thus far. Further assessments will continue into the weekend to ensure that the necessary relief is provided to persons affected.
Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago advised at a Post Cabinet Media Conference yesterday (Thursday 25th October, 2018) that Cabinet has decided to provide a grant of $15,000 for households affected without children and $20,000 for households with children. Further assistance of an additional $5,000 will be made available to persons that require assistance with house repairs such as electrical and plumbing services as a result of the recent flooding.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has indicated that all health facilities are operational. Health centres in areas impacted by the adverse weather continue to have extended hours from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. These include the Arouca Health Centre, the La Horquetta Health Centre, the St. Helena Health Centre, the Penal Health Centre and the Tabaquite Health Centre. The Arouca, St. Helena and La Horquetta Health Centres will also be opened on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. until further notice. Further information on the operating hours for all public health facilities can be found on the ministry’s website at www.health.gov.tt
Operations at the Las Cuevas Health Centre will resume as planned, next Monday 29th October 2018. Normal operations at the health centre were not severely impacted by the landslide.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) continue to conduct assessments and provide assistance to farmers who were adversely affected by the floods.
The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has advised that all water treatment plants have returned to full service. However, the Caroni Water Treatment Plant is still operating at 70 million gallons daily (mgd) as compared to 75 (mgd) at normal operation. This reduction in operation capacity is due to ongoing mechanical works. The issue is expected to be rectified by Saturday 27th October 2018.
Emergency shelters remain open in the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation to support persons impacted by the adverse weather. [See attachment for an updated listing].
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 their municipal corporation. Persons wishing to provide a monetary contribution can do so by depositing to Trinidad and Tobago Flood Relief Accounts created by the following banks:
First Citizens Bank Limited Account Number: 2536104
Scotia Bank Account Number: 4008209
RBC Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Account Number: 110000003950633
Republic Bank Limited Account Number: 180 802 163 801
JMMB Bank Account Number: 6936300401
First Caribbean International Bank (Trinidad and Tobago) Account Number: 1005127
The monies collected will be given to the Living Waters Community. The Living Waters Community will conduct needs assessments, purchase supplies and distribute to affected persons through other non-governmental organizations. Members of the Trinidad and Tobago diaspora can make deposits into the Flood Relief Accounts via their respective foreign banks.
Aegis Outsourcing and Advisory Services has been contracted to audit Trinidad and Tobago Flood Relief Accounts.
The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) has advised that predominately hot and sunny conditions are expected today. There is a 20% (low) chance of a few brief afternoon showers. Tonight will be mostly clear.
The NEOC would like persons to take the following necessary precautions to preserve life and property. 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. These can make food unsafe and cause diseases.
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;
Wear personal protective equipment, including rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles during clean-up of affected areas. 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.
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.
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.
Citizens should continue to monitor the website and social media profiles of the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management. Visit www.metoffice.gov.tt or wwww.odpm.gov.tt.