Trinidad and Tobago

Public Advisory #7 - The ODPM urges persons to shelter in place - Riverine Flood Alert #2 Red Level

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The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) has issued a Riverine Flood Alert #2 – Red Level for areas along Trinidad’s main river courses and associated tributaries, for the period Friday 19th October, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. toFriday 26th October, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) is the legal authority to issue riverine alerts. Red level means that there is a high risk and extreme damage or casualties may be unavoidable even in usually safe places. Persons should shelter in place and be ready to take extraordinary measures to preserve life and property.

Currently, river levels have exceeded threshold levels and some have already over spilled their banks. Additional rainfall is expected hence river levels will remain at an elevated level over the next several days. Riverine flooding occurs when water levels in a river over-tops its banks and spills onto surrounding areas. This type of flooding is more widespread and usually lasts for several days.

Preparations to protect life, livelihood and property especially those residing along the Caroni River Basin should be rushed to completion immediately if it has not been completed as yet. Be on the alert for rising river levels and possible over-spill. Do not take unnecessary risks. Avoid intentionally walking or driving through flood waters. There is a very high potential for major damage to property and infrastructure and for multiple lives to be lost. It is advised to stay indoors until the all clear is given by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management.

The Adverse Weather Alert #2 – Orange Level remains in effect for Trinidad and Tobago for the period until Sunday 21st October, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) would like residents and visitors to ‘Get Ready and Stay Ready’ by implementing the following safety measures:

  1. If your property has not been impacted by flooding pre-position sandbags around your property, especially if your area or property resides along Trinidad’s main river courses and associated tributaries;
  2. After heavy rainfall, stay inside until water levels have subsided;
  3. Do not walk, play or drive through flood waters of unknown depth and current;
  4. Be cautious when walking /driving along hillsides or landslide-prone areas;
  5. If there are signs that flooding is about to occur near your property, move important items to a higher floor if possible;
  6. If flood waters threaten your property, turn off the breakers and unplug appliances. If electrical receptacles are underwater and electrical appliances are plugged in, take the necessary steps to stand in a dry area. Never stand in water to operate breakers.
  7. Place important personal documents, valuables and vital medical supplies into a waterproof bag or container in an accessible location;
  8. Activate your 72-hour plan and ensure you have enough food, water and medical supplies for at least three (3) days.

If impacted by the adverse weather, please contact your Municipal Corporation or the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) through its toll-free hotline numbers (see attachment).

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) has activated that its national response mechanism and continues to coordinate first responder and support agencies to support incident response.

Citizens should continue to monitor the website and social media profiles of the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service and the ODPM for weather forecasts, alerts, warnings and cancellations. Visit www.metoffice.gov.tt orwwww.odpm.gov.tt.

WE WISH TO UNDERSCORE THAT TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO IS NOT CURRENTLY UNDER ANY TROPICAL STORM OR HURRICANE THREAT, WATCH OR WARNING.